like any geek normal and ordinary (nothing special, folks), I know Linux. I used Linux. I like Linux as a concept. It’s free, open source, and flexible, an alternative to Windows and macOS that gives people from all walks of life access to modern computing.
But I could do without Linux fans. You know who I’m talking about. Those who enter conversations whenever you mention Windows. No need to ask them what they think of Linux. It is absolutely clear. It’s your operating system of choice. It is the only operating system of choice. But you don’t know, so they are here to enlighten you.
It doesn’t matter what you say. Fans keep showing up. They don’t know how to analyze the context (or the conversation). Suggesting the use of Linux does not need to be justified by the problem in question. Better than that.
And they have no idea how damaging this attitude is (even if Linux itself isn’t the problem).
1. “With Linux, you wouldn’t have this problem”
I have to admit, the first time I tried Linux, I was very disappointed when unicorns and rainbows didn’t explode instantly from my PC. I was promised an end to all my problems with Windows.
Windows has a lot of hassles and outright problems. But you may think that and still have other complaints about Linux. Of course, it’s much better than before. And games are no longer just a dream to aspire to.
But Windows works, folks. You won’t get the same level of support for Softwaredrivers and accessories in Linux (although Linux has definitely made progress on this front in recent years).
Moreover, when someone is already trying to solve a problem, being informed about Linux is likely to increase their irritation and reduce the likelihood that they will give an open source operating system a chance.
2. “Try another distro”
Obviously other distributions may be an option. But have you ever helped someone who isn’t a techie install Windows?
It’s quite stressful for them (and frankly, for me too) when they can buy the installation media and put it on their PC. Are you suggesting they create their own Linux install media and go through the install multiple times?
Being a more advanced PC user, I could do that for them, yes. But there are very few people I’m willing to back up their PC for, clean up their disk, install a new distro, learn its ins and outs so I can hold their hand while they learn how to do it, learn how to navigate the new distro and also help them keep everything tidy when the different distros start to get confused.
And then repeat the whole thing several times. Or more, if you listen to the cheery advice of the ultra-loyal Linux devotees.
The list of people I love enough to support doesn’t even include me. The prospect of sifting through all the distros to find the perfect one can be great for Linux enthusiasts, but it’s an exhausting thought for most of us.
3. “Micro$oft only cares about money”
I’m sorry to inform you that for-profit businesses exist to make money, not to build communities. The latter is a strong point of Linux, but you can’t overpay the workers.
Also, if you always use the $ symbol when you spell Microsoft, you are indicating your actual age.
4. “It’s free”
Oh yes, the rest of the financial arguments.
I’m also sorry to inform you that the vast majority of people buy pre-built laptops or desktops, 99% of which include Windows licenses. For Linux options, you have to search and search, and that doesn’t always save money.
In that sense, most people don’t go out of their way to avoid Windows to save money. Not when $300 laptops come with Windows licenses.
As for people who build their own PC, they usually enjoy playing games. PC gaming on Linux still doesn’t live up to the Windows experience. In fact, I’m looking forward to Steam’s Proton technology running any Windows game on Linux, but that day hasn’t come yet despite the huge popularity of the Steam Deck.
People love free stuff. If they are not ported to Linux, something is missing.
5. “¡Linux no return!”
Microsoft’s telemetry data may worry those who value privacy. It’s worth thinking about. But, as has already been said, switching to Linux does not solve all the problems. It just changes them.
Do you know what is the best solution for many Windows users who are technical enough to consider switching to Linux? Put Linux to work indirectly.
You build a Pi-Hole, route your traffic through it, and maintain Windows. Microsoft’s attempts to send data home are sucked into a black hole. That’s it, everyone is happy.
It’s a joke, most people don’t care. Do you know who logs into Facebook and leaves their privacy settings public? Or do you allow most apps to access your phone’s location data? Many people.
Don’t get me wrong, Linux can be a better option than Windows in some situations. I’ve recommended Linux before (for example, for those on a very tight budget or to bring an old PC to life), and will continue to do so.
Pero aquí hay un amistoso consejo para los fanáticos de Linux: Linux suena mucho más interesante cuando alguien se toma el tiempo de explicar cuidadosamente que problems resuelve y que problems hay (y cómo mitigarlos), además de hacer distro suggestions adapted to the necessities of nobody.
If this is not done, Windows users will continue to be disconnected from the chat.
Original article published on PCWorld.com.