5 Linux myths that drive new users away


All the things that get a little out of the public «maistream”Are commonly surrounded by myths, with Linux on Desktops it would be no different. Now let’s talk about 5 of them that sometimes new users end up “hearing from someone” and that eventually move them away from systems based on this Kernel.

With 2017 coming to an end, 2018 is coming to celebrate nothing more, nothing less, than the seventh anniversary of the Diolinux blog, who knew, huh !? After 7 years, the landscape of Linux on Desktops has changed a lot, maybe even more than I can remember, but some myths still persist in the minds of many, let’s talk about five of them.

1 – Linux is difficult to use

This is certainly one of the biggest myths, but let’s go by parts.

I think that with a little reflection you can be aware that a statement like this doesn’t make much sense. You see, define for me what is «easy» and what is «difficult».

Is playing guitar easy or difficult? I believe the answer is: It depends. It depends on your previous knowledge, if you already know how to play the guitar it becomes simpler, if you were born with “the gift for music”, it will probably be simpler too, having the habit also helps.

Keep in mind that “easy and difficult” are two completely relative things and vary from person to person.

What usually happens for some to reach this conclusion is the lack of prior instruction, one of the reasons for the creation of the Diolinux blog (and the channel too) was precisely this, with this, the path becomes more peaceful.

Read too: Migration guide, suitcases ready for Linux.

Most people who have had some frustration using Linux are usually people who already know a little about Windows and feel lost in this new universe.

This feeling of being good and suddenly being thrown into a universe where your knowledge is not so great, especially for routine things like using the computer, is never good, it is something natural for human beings. Once this is identified, you are better able to overcome new challenges.

Changes are always complicated, but they can be very worthwhile. I know several tech-savvy people (not Linux exactly) who use distros like Linux Mint on their computers on a daily basis to do common tasks, there is no way to call Linux «difficult» by watching them. However, it is worth noting the distribution, there are Linux distros more suitable for novice users than others, this can bring a very different experience, combined with the various interfaces that Linux provides, certainly some are more intuitive than others.

2 – You must use commands to do everything on Linux

No, there is no need. But I think we can talk more about that.

First of all, we should not face the possibility of operating the operating system via commands as something bad, Linux, Windows, macOS, BSDs and other systems, invariably have the possibility of operating via terminal.

There are thousands of tutorials on the internet on macOS and Windows where commands are used, in the official support of companies, commands are often informed, so don’t be alarmed. On Linux you can really do everything from the terminal, but that doesn’t mean that everything NEED be done through it.

I believe that sometimes this impression comes from old manuals and articles spread over blogs, the internet outside, and the generalist way of dealing with distros. An example: Let’s say I want to show you how to install the GIMP image editor on Ubuntu based distros, all of them through the terminal will have the same command, something like: sudo apt install gimp, however, showing a tutorial via the interface will depend on the interface, doing this in KDE Plasmas, GNOME, Cinnamon, Pantheon, XFCE, all have small differences, which makes the process of making a comprehensive tutorial excessively laborious.

Perhaps the lack of a “standard distro” causes this, because of that, when a system stands out or focuses on the desktop, we usually pay more attention, and for “us,” I say to the media. Perhaps it is important that blogs and popular Linux sites start to worry about putting tutorials that involve the graphic environment as well, this will start to give the correct impression about Linux, where you only use the terminal when you want.

In full 2017, even on Linux, using commands is for anyone who wants. Just choose a distro with a Desktop focus and you won’t have this “problem”.

I really don’t know where this myth comes from, or rather, I don’t know why it persists; where I come from I even have an idea.

Right at the beginning of the development of Linux and its evolution, between 92 and 2004 approximately, the need to use the terminal was greater, in fact. In these first 10 years of existence, people who used Linux were generally enthusiastic or professional, as in the world of servers, Linux has always been a great alternative and on servers they generally do not use graphical tools (not in the same way as on desktops), so distros ended up having these traits too.

The graphics environments were still starting to develop as well. But like everything else, Linux distros have also evolved, it’s a huge mistake to think that everything goes on like this, that would be the same as thinking that Windows has the same characteristics as its first 10 or 15 years of development.

To be honest, the distros with appeal to the real Desktop started to reach an interesting point in 2010, with Ubuntu 10.04 and 10.10, Linux Mint 9 and 10, among others, with a beautiful leap in quality in 2012, in 2017, still there are things to be improved (and there always will be), but the current point can already be considered simple for home use.

The Linux kernel is 26 years old practically today and a lot of water has already rolled under that bridge, so let’s stop this and end this myth once and for all.

3 – Linux doesn’t have enough programs

There are people who live by creating barriers and not bridges, a fact. These will always look for a problem to avoid recommendations, while it would be very simple to show the various options that exist and almost certainly, these would serve the public, or most of it.

It is complicated to list software because such a list would be almost infinite, but you certainly find many popular applications in the Linux world that are multiplatform and famous in the Windows world as well. In addition, I always tell people to stick to the program’s functionality, not necessarily the name.

Example, you don’t need WinRAR to open .rar files, you need software that does that, you don’t need PowerPoint, you need to make presentations, and there are a multitude of ways to solve any of these problems, a basic Google search will reveal the options (see the video above, it will help too).

Each user has different needs, so it is up to you and only you, the mission to assess whether the software or features you want are on Linux. Not always having «a million» options for the same software is a sign of quality, there are dozens of internet browsers, but most people only use Chrome and Firefox, to name just one example, and both are available for Linux ( as well as Opera, Vivaldi, Chromium, Yandex, and many others).

4 – Linux doesn’t have good games

And once again we fall into the merit of “good and bad”, as already mentioned, this will depend once again on your taste and the games you enjoy playing. I know many people who are passionate about games, but interestingly, most of them read, watch and consume content about all the releases, but hardly ever play all of them, either for the price, or for the taste, for preferring specific titles. I am like this, I like to see reviews of all releases practically, but I rarely play them all.

Linux currently has a wide range of titles available, this library is in fact inferior to Windows, there is no denying it, but depending on what you enjoy playing, it can be a system for you, without a doubt.

Read too: 7 website and stores (besides Steam) where you can find games for Linux.

I play a lot on Linux (and on Windows too) and I can say that the library is very cool now and only tends to grow, since games for Linux started to be launched in greater mass only in 2014 and the first year, although fruitful, does not compare to the following.

There will always be one who will say: “Ah, but there is no such game «, and it will never end, as there will always be a game that will not be on the platform, even if Linux will have 90% of the titles that exist in Windows, they will still say that one or that other is missing, I think it is kind of thing that we will not be able to change, however, a new PC platform competing for Windows would be good for consumers in many ways, competition awakens quality and it would be great to be able to save money on the operating system license and spend this amount on games, no is? It is important that we encourage this market for our own good.

5 – Linux is only for servers, not for Desktops

When someone says that, many tears must flow from the thousands of developers of KDE, GNOME, XFCE, MATE, Cinnamon, Deepin, Pantheon and so many other interfaces made just for the operability of the system on the Desktop.

I think there is still a lot of confusion about «what is the purpose of Linux», people say that the system is for this or that.

The big point here is: Linux has no purpose, who gives the purpose is who uses it for something. The Linux kernel is simply made to work with hardware, which every project that uses Linux as a base will do, will give it usefulness and focus.

Google uses it for Android, Canonical uses it for Ubuntu, Amazon uses it for servers, Microsoft uses it for virtualization, Tesla uses it for smart cars and my mom uses it to access Facebook, so saying that Linux “only” works for something in particular it would be to underestimate the creativity of millions of people around the world.

There are many people who use Linux on their desktop everyday, I am writing this article from a distro right now.

Some other myths

There are a few more interesting myths to cover here, but as I’ve talked about them extensively on other occasions, I’ll just leave the references, I hope you can check it out.

– “Linux Doesn’t Get Viruses”: Why this is a lie and how it really works

Attention to “having viruses”, this does not mean being equivalently vulnerable, see Android, and also attention to the fact that popularity is not related to the quality of the system’s security but to how much it is targeted.

– Linux has hardware support problem

I participated in a very nice chat on the Peperaio Harware channel a few weeks ago to talk about that, check it out here.

– Why Linux programs take up less disk space

– Understand why you don’t need to defragment disks on Linux

Even with all this information, there will still be people who won’t consider Linux for their home, business or personal use and frankly, that’s fine by me, I don’t see any problem in anyone who likes to use Windows, but I really believe that these myths don’t more good reasons for that, simply saying «I like another system better» is better than pointing out these «problems», which would be perfectly conceivable.

As a platform, Linux distros generally free, safer and with several customization options, appearance and usability, that is, testing at least is just a matter of curiosity and internet to download, there are practically no barriers.

To the next!