Why Linux sucks and why it can’t beat windows yet!

I know it’s a very controversial post and I am sure if any of the Linux evangelists find it, they will flame me. But please I want no flames. I only detail what I have experienced here and what I have gone through using Linux :-(

I am a fan of linux. I really am but of it’s stability, it’s open-ness and security. But ease of use, and it plain sucks. And not just that, even managing the OS is a huge task and one which is for no newbie.

I will start from the _starting_ (pun intended) :-D

I used linux in my college, but quite sparingly and in my final year even removed it from my system due to lack of space. But when I started working at Applibase, I chose to use Linux as the primary OS because of it’s stability and the chance to get to use it a lot more. In retrospection, it has turned out to be a bad idea.

In office, the distribution used was Fedora Core 4, on an Intel Pentium 4 HT box with 1 gig of ram.

The first problems started when I wanted to install any external application. It usually would never install the first time, always throwing a bunch of dependency errors. Sure you need other files which this application depends upon but _can_ you not include them in the installation files itself? Or if they are so commonly required, why not have them default with the OS
With windows, it’s almost always like, double click the file, the installation starts and you are up and using the program soon.
Do the Linux guys really think extremely lay users will actually search around for files which satisfies dependency (espcially those which are hard to find. And there are some which are quite hard cos I have looked)
No they will not. They will rather, “what the hell, where do I find this file. Nevermind, I wont bother” and so on.

The next problem I faced was when our office UPS was being upgraded to provide more backup time. The UPS had to be taken offline for that and unfortunately at that time the main power failed. More upset about the work that I had not saved, I was in for a bigger shock. When power was restored, and I booted up my system, I found that my GUI was garbled. I thought it was a one off problem and rebooted the system but to no avail. I asked the help of Theju(who is quite knowledgeable abt Linux)to help set it right. He tried quite a few ways to get the display to work but none of them helped. He even replaced the configuration file for the X server but nothing seemed to work.

Now imagine the same scenario in Windows, sequence of operation. A power failure, system boot, scandisk runs, and you are back in business (atleast in the case of XP) Which would new users choose? The hassle free nature of windows? Anytime. Infact so would I. In India, where power problems are a common occurance, no one is going to bother investing time and effort in an OS which might potentially fail due to a power loss. And the terms like X windows, X server etc will only confuse them more. Cant it be an integrated GUI like windows? Why does it have to be a separate _server_ so to say.

Next _major_ problem was, I finish my work for the day, lock my terminal and go home. I come back the next time, login and boom, my system hangs. Can you believe it? The horrors. Linux hanging. But it did. And that too when no one was using it and it was lying idle for a night.

So I reboot the system and try to login and what does it tell me? That my login session lasted for less than 10 seconds and that I should check the error logs for problems. I did and there was no evident problem. I tried logging in a couple of times, even rebooting my system but nothing helped. Then I called upon Theju and Pramod, our resident linux experts to help. They tried unsuccessfully for about an hr and half but to no avail. After lunch they tried again and finally almost an hr after that they managed to solve it. It was due to the OS filling up one of the partitions up to the max limit.

Anyways, in essence, what I want to say is that with such problems, no newbie will be willing to use Linux. And to get Linux popular, it has to be made user friendly, especially in installation of new programs and integration of the various parts of the OS. Till then, I think I will vote for Windows, even though I might not like it as much.


  1. Prasad October 21, 2005

    You like button click to get your job done don’t you?

  2. AJ October 21, 2005

    I admint it has it’s own attractiveness. But I prefer and do use the keyboard more than the mouse. Sometimes too fast for my good if you get what I mean ;-)

  3. Chandru October 21, 2005

    Im the button click kind and still prefer Linux. why? Simply coz it has so much more options than windows. If there were flavours of Win too that would be nice. Simplicity wise Win rocks.

  4. kathik October 21, 2005

    Linux used it very less, so prefer windows.I think there is serious alergy between linux with mouse. :P na

  5. Vishnu Vyas November 14, 2005

    Hmm.. here are a few solutions to your problems.

    1. About your installation woes? Ever heard of Apt-Get? (well just check out ubuntu or better debian).
    Though I have never worked with portage, it seems pretty good too (Gentoo style).

    and whats wrong with ./configure, make, make install?

    2. Unexpected Power Shut downs and related owes
    My bet is that you are not using a journalising file system. Ext3 is good, but if you need performance too try reiserFS.

    I had that problem too with FC3 before, but once I moved to a journalising file system it vanished. (out of curiosity were you using gnome or kde, coz gnome seems more succeptible to this type of error).

    3. Linux Hanging == (U messed up || hardware error).
    I guess you messed up.. I siwtch off my system once a week and that hasn’t happened so far. My guess is that you haven’t partitioned your system properly. Its usually a good idea to make /boot, /, /usr, /usr/local, and /home/urusername logically distinct partitions.

    Guess that helps.. (and just before you go on ranting you shoudl probably check whats online regarding your problems.)

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