If you want to switch from Windows to Linux but are not, why?

If you want to switch from Windows to Linux but are not, why?


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NeghVar

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There are numerous people who want to switch to a flavor of Linux but are held back for one reason or another. I am one of those people. What is holding you back?
 

pxc

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One of the main reasons I don't use Linux as a primary OS is because I just don't feel like playing around and fixing the OS when it breaks. I care if the GPU performance is bad with the OSS driver, I care if wireless is slow, I care that the audio mixer is working properly (at least to some minimal standards, like what Windows was capable of in the 1990s), etc. All of those things require installing anything from proprietary drivers to replacing the default audio subsystem to hunting down and installing wireless drivers that aren't gimped. Once those problems are fixed, it is *expected* that the configuration will break on kernel updates. Reasonable suggestions to fix this honestly pathetic situation are met with hostility from the top and so I assume it will never get fixed. If I wanted to run a *nix-like system, paying a couple hundred extra for an Apple laptop running OS X/macOS is well worth it because I won't have to waste so much time wrestling with the OS and troubleshooting it when the OS breaks.

On the other hand, if your requirements are pretty minimal and a chosen release has complete hardware support for a particular laptop or desktop, I can see how someone can be happy running Linux. I don't fit in that category. When I want to use Linux on my laptop, I'll boot it up in a VM.
 

ManofGod

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Why switch at all? Just build a second machine exclusive for Linux and then you can mess around with whatever build you want, wipe and try another.
 

B00nie

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One of the main reasons I don't use Linux as a primary OS is because I just don't feel like playing around and fixing the OS when it breaks. I care if the GPU performance is bad with the OSS driver, I care if wireless is slow, I care that the audio mixer is working properly (at least to some minimal standards, like what Windows was capable of in the 1990s), etc. All of those things require installing anything from proprietary drivers to replacing the default audio subsystem to hunting down and installing wireless drivers that aren't gimped. Once those problems are fixed, it is *expected* that the configuration will break on kernel updates. Reasonable suggestions to fix this honestly pathetic situation are met with hostility from the top and so I assume it will never get fixed. If I wanted to run a *nix-like system, paying a couple hundred extra for an Apple laptop running OS X/macOS is well worth it because I won't have to waste so much time wrestling with the OS and troubleshooting it when the OS breaks.

On the other hand, if your requirements are pretty minimal and a chosen release has complete hardware support for a particular laptop or desktop, I can see how someone can be happy running Linux. I don't fit in that category. When I want to use Linux on my laptop, I'll boot it up in a VM.

Seems like you tried linux last time in the late 90s :)
 

michalrz

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Pxc hit the hammer on the handle with a nail. Spot on. Let me elaborate.

I chose 'other'.
I haven't switched because I use both simultaneously.

If you have the right hardware and refrain from staying on 'the bleeding edge' (weekly feature updates), you'll do fine in 95% of scenarios.

Constant updates may introduce problems because all parts of the system (all software provided by the package manager of a given distro) change constantly. With Linux, you seriously need to read the release notes because of system-wide changes.

If you have a WAN facing server with some service, obviously you have only the bare minimum installed and keep it patched religiously.

But if you're on a desktop workstation behind a router, you don't need a kernel upgrade every week. And you definitely don't want to stray from your distribution's line of development (don't yum when you apt).

As ManOfGod suggested, there's actually no need to switch. Hardware is plentiful. Build, install, evaluate, toss/use.
 

pxc

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Seems like you tried linux last time in the late 90s :)
No, I try installing it from time to time and the problems I listed have continued even this year.

It's a problem because I don't want to have to mess with the OS to keep it working. Some people love fiddling with Linux, like a hobby. I don't.
 

ManofGod

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No, I try installing it from time to time and the problems I listed have continued even this year.

It's a problem because I don't want to have to mess with the OS to keep it working. Some people love fiddling with Linux, like a hobby. I don't.

I am an IT Pro (Or at least I am payed to be one :D ) but, I have been messing with Linux since 1996 and learned a thing or two because of that. I enjoy it but sometimes, even I just want things to work with little to no fuss, which is why I run Windows 10 Pro as my primary OS. I have a virtualized Ubuntu install which is quite fast though.
 

SticKx911

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Games. I don't even play games all that often, but much of my steam library isn't compatible. I don't feel like dicking around with "fixes." Other than that, I could ditch windows without a second thought. I'm not exactly a heavy user though. If it weren't for fallout 4, I could probably do everything I need on a chrome book.
 

NeoNemesis

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I've thought about it before. I even made the switch for about a year, but games......
 

BulletDust

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I run Linux on a number of machines here, the main PC I use daily for the running of my business runs Ubuntu MATE exclusively (the machine I'm currently replying on). Honestly, it's easier to keep running than the plethora of Windows machines I work on every day.

I'm not too sure why pxc is having so many issues keeping a linux distro running, but as Bonnie stated, generally speaking such issues are isolated somewhere back in the 90's.
 
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BulletDust

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Who are all these scrubs that have to "choose" their OS? I have Windows machines, I have Macs, and I have no need for Linux but if I want to use it I'll install it on something.

Totally agreed!

I've got Windows based PC's, Linux based PC's and Mac's all running here - I use whatever suits my application at the time best. Having said that 99% of the time that's Linux.
 

wrangler

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In addition to the gaming thing.
The installation and not knowing if your hardware will install and have drivers. The fact that you only have NVidia as a choice for your graphics card.

I started in the DOS 3.3 days. I've configured hardware from a command line, memory config in a batch file, etc. etc. So, I can do it, just don't want to anymore. Especially if you have to ask Linux people how to do it. BUT!!!

If AAA PC games, not shitty app type games, automatically played on Linux... I would put up with more futzing. You know. Getting it to work and all that shit. Might even be fun but, they don't work
 

BulletDust

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In addition to the gaming thing.
The installation and not knowing if your hardware will install and have drivers. The fact that you only have NVidia as a choice for your graphics card.

I started in the DOS 3.3 days. I've configured hardware from a command line, memory config in a batch file, etc. etc. So, I can do it, just don't want to anymore. Especially if you have to ask Linux people how to do it. BUT!!!

If AAA PC games, not shitty app type games, automatically played on Linux... I would put up with more futzing. You know. Getting it to work and all that shit. Might even be fun but, they don't work

I only use either Nvidia dedicated GPU'S or Intel iGPU's, so the limitations regarding AMD hardware don't really affect me - Having said that AMD are making quite an effort as of late in relation to improving their Linux drivers.

In relation to installing drivers, the process regarding Nvidia drivers is actually simpler under a Debian/Ubuntu variant of Linux than it is under Windows using the driver manager. At worst you may have to add the PPA if you want the latest and greatest, a simple process in the terminal using a single line command.
 

wrangler

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I only use either Nvidia dedicated GPU'S or Intel iGPU's, so the limitations regarding AMD hardware don't really affect me - Having said that AMD are making quite an effort as of late in relation to improving their Linux drivers.

In relation to installing drivers, the process regarding Nvidia drivers is actually simpler under a Debian/Ubuntu variant of Linux than it is under Windows using the driver manager. At worst you may have to add the PPA if you want the latest and greatest, a simple process in the terminal using a single line command.

What the hell is a PPA?

See. This is the problem.

I might have to add the what to the what with the what????
 

BulletDust

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What the hell is a PPA?

See. This is the problem.

I might have to add the what to the what with the what????

I'm confident there was a time when Windows was a bit of a mystery to you also, I'm also confident that you've had to use the Windows command line at least once in your life.

To add the PPA under Linux, press [ctrl] + [T] together, this opens a terminal window. Copy and paste the following text:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa

And press enter. Once this is done close window, open GUI based driver manager and update Nvidia drivers.

You only ever have to access the feared terminal window once to add this command, the days of using the terminal to do everything under Linux are slowly dwindling as the GUI desktop gets better and better.
 
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BulletDust

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Vanilla Ubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Ubutu GNOME, Linux Mint, Debian and a great many others.

If the distro doesn't use apt, you just swap 'apt' for 'rpm', etc.

It's not difficult, nor is it rocket science. A PPA is a software repository, really no different to the Google Play Store or Apple's App Store - It's something Windows needs rather than installing some random .msi file from some untrusted and potentially insecure corner of the interwebz.
 

B00nie

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No, I try installing it from time to time and the problems I listed have continued even this year.

It's a problem because I don't want to have to mess with the OS to keep it working. Some people love fiddling with Linux, like a hobby. I don't.

Uh, I have installed Ubuntus to my parents and in-laws who live 2000 miles away just for the reason to not have to go to fix it. With Windows I was getting malware or other problem related calls every 2 weeks.

The real problem here is that you have been conditioned to use the Windows ecosystem and feel helpless in front of the simpliest tasks just because they're not windows tasks.

In essence, Windows makes people dumber just like using social media.

Windows is still the king with games, granted. But you can just as well get an XBOX or have a couple of dedicated gaming computers (like our family does). But frankly, windows as a daily driver? For me it's absolute lunacy.
 

auntjemima

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Uh, I have installed Ubuntus to my parents and in-laws who live 2000 miles away just for the reason to not have to go to fix it. With Windows I was getting malware or other problem related calls every 2 weeks.

The real problem here is that you have been conditioned to use the Windows ecosystem and feel helpless in front of the simpliest tasks just because they're not windows tasks.

In essence, Windows makes people dumber just like using social media.

Windows is still the king with games, granted. But you can just as well get an XBOX or have a couple of dedicated gaming computers (like our family does). But frankly, windows as a daily driver? For me it's absolute lunacy.

Maybe you should educate them on proper usage of their OS and not try and shield them from it.
 

B00nie

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Maybe you should educate them on proper usage of their OS and not try and shield them from it.

The proper use of Windows is not to use it at all. It's too full of holes and antiviruses have not worked and will not work. Why would I 'educate' them to stop using things they're used to when they can continue to do that freely by switching to linux?

If I wanted to show my mother a safe way to use Windows she would never accept it. She wants to go to the social media, click on links people send her and watch transient powerpoints floating in her ghastly e-mail rings. Her usage habits got her computer infected in days regardless of having a spanking new Win8 computer with a store installed antivirus running.

Same thing with the in-laws. Every time we visited them I was asked to 'fix' the computer for running slow and sometimes having popups etc. fun. Now post Ubuntu they're just happy campers. They can do all the stuff they used to do without having to worry about slow downs, viruses or adware pop ups.
 
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BulletDust

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I'm a big Source 2 fan, so Linux works well for me.

Having said that, I can name a handful of titles under Linux that are crap loads better than that 'No Man's Sky' rubbish I wasted my hard earned $$ on under Windows....
 

Keljian

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I have Linux and BSD virtualised (many times over) lack of game support and lack of office (as in Microsoft office 64bit) have stopped me from migrating and have caused me to go back to PC from Mac .

That said, Linux is never plug and play. When I sit down to do something, I want to do that thing, not spend time futzing around to try and get things to work.
 
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Quix

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I've got Linux on my notebook and Windows on my gaming desktop. When most games have proper Linux support then I'll consider switching the desktop over. I'm not sure this will ever happen. I think it's just as likely that another OS that isn't Windows or Linux will come along and beat both of them. Microsoft is getting really heavy-handed with Windows, which is the main reason I won't buy ever a Mac. Linux is pretty flexible (except drivers, which aren't handled as well as they are in Windows) and is much more customizable than Windows. I don't mind LibreOffice so games are really the only thing keeping me on Windows.

I will say though, anyone in this thread who says that Linux is as easy to install and use as Windows is wrong. Linux is much better than it used to be but I still have driver issues. On the previously mentioned notebook (Dell XPS 15 9550) Ubuntu 16.04 installed easily AFTER I reconfigured the hard drive controller in the bios. And the 4K screen was detected and scaling set to 200% by default. After installing the Nvidia binary drivers I found that Optimus support didn't work. I then had to set up the Nvidia drivers PPA. I installed the newest driver and restarted, and X didn't start. I had to try 3 different driver versions to find one that didn't crash AND disable secure boot to get it to work. It was a huge pain and I've never had that kind of problem with Windows drivers of any kind. You also have to totally restart X to swap between GPUs, but that doesn't really bother me because most of the time I want the Nvidia card disabled. But now everything is working well and I'd say this is the least troublesome Linux install I've ever had.
 

B00nie

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That said, Linux is never plug and play. When I sit down to do something, I want to do that thing, not spend time futzing around to try and get things to work.

I call that BS. Linux is way more plug and play in many things than windows. You get a fully featured desktop with a simple automated install. Only a few more specific tasks may be more difficult but even that's not due to linux but due to lacking developer support.
 

pxc

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Uh, I have installed Ubuntus to my parents and in-laws who live 2000 miles away just for the reason to not have to go to fix it. With Windows I was getting malware or other problem related calls every 2 weeks.
I'm not sure what your disagreement is with what I wrote. Re-read my first post in this thread, particularly the second paragraph.

Your other assumptions are completely wrong. I've done everything from Xenix and SCO Unix setups professionally in the late 80s, the quickly failed Sun x terminals setups in the early 1990s, Linux in the early 1990s in addition to MS DOS 3.3 and later, and MS Windows 2.11 and later, Mac OS from the early 90s and later, and various legacy systems. I'm quite comfortable with a wide range of OSs, GUI or command line. What I'm not is an apologist for the shortcomings of a sacred cow of an OS. Some things in Linux just suck and miss basic expectations for a modern desktop OS.
 

B00nie

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I'm not sure what your disagreement is with what I wrote. Re-read my first post in this thread, particularly the second paragraph.

Your other assumptions are completely wrong. I've done everything from Xenix and SCO Unix setups professionally in the late 80s, the quickly failed Sun x terminals setups in the early 1990s, Linux in the early 1990s in addition to MS DOS 3.3 and later, and MS Windows 2.11 and later, Mac OS from the early 90s and later, and various legacy systems. I'm quite comfortable with a wide range of OSs, GUI or command line. What I'm not is an apologist for the shortcomings of a sacred cow of an OS. Some things in Linux just suck and miss basic expectations for a modern desktop OS.

Can you give an example of something you can't comfortably do with a modern linux? Probably related to app support.
 

pxc

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Can you give an example of something you can't comfortably do with a modern linux? Probably related to app support.
I'm not sure if you're deliberately misreading my posts, or just not reading them at all. That is not one of the issues I brought up, whether it's relevant or not. I'm not going to bother replying to your posts since it's a waste of time.
 

B00nie

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I'm not sure if you're deliberately misreading my posts, or just not reading them at all. That is not one of the issues I brought up, whether it's relevant or not. I'm not going to bother replying to your posts since it's a waste of time.

Lol. So you're saying you don't need to install closed source drivers to Windows and nothing breaks when you update it. Riiight. I haven't had any problems with the audio mixer either, perhaps you're trying to do something out of the ordinary with it?

I just don't see how you prefer to trade a couple inconveniences to the constant threat of running windows. For me it's much more inconvenient to have an antivirus running and MS force booting the computer at will etc. fun stuff that happens in the windows world.
 

B00nie

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That's exactly it, app support and support for the latest and greatest hardware.
Generally the only problem with latest and greatest hardware is happening with gaming computers and that's a non-issue since windows is obviously the best gaming platform. I wouldn't use it daily though.
 

auntjemima

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I'm glad I left this open earlier. For my uses these days (browsing, watching movies, general admin), I find Linux Mint to work pretty well, OOTB. I actually has less issues with my cheapo wifi USB adapter than windows as Linux included the driver and I had to scour the internet for one for Windows.

That said, I'm a pretty basic user and I can understand other people having issues when it comes to the software they use and the hardware they need drivers for.

I find my previous OS and software programming experience usually allows me to write scripts for Linux with ease but even Mint isn't ready for the mainstream. As an example, my Razer mouse was too sensitive and the slider for that option under mouse controls was already turned all the way down. I had to write a script, make it executable (happens to be an option under file properties now, wish I had known that lol) and then have it run every time the computer starts.

Hassles, even simple ones like that, will deter your normal windows user, even if their needs are basic, like mine.
 

BulletDust

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As an individual that runs virtually every OS I am going to state quite honestly and truthfully, based on experience as most of my computing is done under Linux - Although I have a number of very capable machines running an assortment of operating systems here. I have had less issues regarding driver issues under Linux than I've had under Windows, I have found that if application support is not available cross platform (which is becoming more and more common as Linux gains popularity) there is an alternative application available that satisfies the needs of everyone with the exception of a few niche professionals.

The advantages of Linux are:

- Your PC is yours and is respected as such.
- You have full control over your OS.
- No retarded Windows registry, everything under Linux is a file making backups extremely simple and efficient.
- The ability to fully customise your OS based around personal preferences/needs.
- A virtually zero chance of issues resulting from viruses, malware or spyware.
- The ability to pick and choose what updates will be downloaded/applied.
- Better (finer) control over OS security using sudo as opposed to UAC.
- The ability to read virtually any file system when using a packeged distro.
- Far better implementation of virtual workspaces.
- A far better selection of docks to choose from. I like a decent, non tacky dock - It increases my workflow considerably. I've yet to find a dock under Windows that's as good looking and featured as any dock I've ever run under Linux.
- Better control over window/desktop management, further improving customisation for a task and improving productivity.
- In the case of Nvidia proprietary drivers, better multi monitor/SLS support, you can even run completely different desktops on each monitor if you so desire.
- A desktop experience that feels like it was designed for desktop use, none of this fragmented desktop/touch interface as seen under Windows 8 and still seen to a degree under Windows 10.

There is more, these are just a few benefits off the top of my head. Furthermore, I've never had an issue with the sound mixer, in fact it works just as well as it does under Windows via my Soundblaster X-Fi.
 
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SuperSubZero

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Maybe you should educate them on proper usage of their OS and not try and shield them from it.
No, you don't understand. When people are a little too crazy for you, you cut away the part that makes them crazy. There might be side effects for them, but hey, as long as you're happy.
 

Keljian

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I call that BS. Linux is way more plug and play in many things than windows. You get a fully featured desktop with a simple automated install. Only a few more specific tasks may be more difficult but even that's not due to linux but due to lacking developer support.

Ok. Let's take mysql for example this time. Mysql in 14.04/14.10 had it's config files in one particular place, 16.x has it all in a different place. It took me reading forums and futzing around for a while before I worked out where I needed to be to change one "simple" setting. The change has not been reflected in the docs online, and very few records of this change seem to exist within easy reach of the standard user. - This is one example, it's not the only one I've come across.

The upgrade to 16.04 LTS also hosed my system, so clean install then.. when I could have been working on something else.
 

BulletDust

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Ok. Let's take mysql for example this time. Mysql in 14.04/14.10 had it's config files in one particular place, 16.x has it all in a different place. It took me reading forums and futzing around for a while before I worked out where I needed to be to change one "simple" setting. The change has not been reflected in the docs online, and very few records of this change seem to exist within easy reach of the standard user. - This is one example, it's not the only one I've come across.

The upgrade to 16.04 LTS also hosed my system, so clean install then.. when I could have been working on something else.

How is this any different to Windows? I'm currently trying to get a software package working under Windows 10 that worked fine under Windows 7, I'm close to sorting it out but I've had to dig through the interwebz to resolve the issue.

In relation to updates, I can assure you the update to Windows 10 fried a number of OS installs.

For what its worth, updating my PC running Ubuntu MATE to 16.04 went flawlessly.
 
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Keljian

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How is this any different to Windows? I'm currently trying to get a software package working under Windows 10 that worked fine under Windows 7, I'm close to sorting it out but I've had to dig through the interwebz to resolve the issue.

In relation to updates, I can assure you the update to Windows 10 fried a number of OS installs.

For what its worth, updating my PC running Ubuntu MATE to 16.04 went flawlessly.

I suppose my argument is why switch if I have the same/similar/worse issues with Linux?
 

auntjemima

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I suppose my argument is why switch if I have the same/similar/worse issues with Linux?

And this sums is up nicely.

All too often when someone complains about a Linux issue the first argument is a deflection towards a similar issue in Windows.

Linux has the same issue now as it did 10 years ago vs XP and 20 years ago vs 3.1 and 95. It's not ready for mainstream. 20 years and still the same opinion from what some might even call [H]ard users. Think of the people out there without the ability to even Google simple things.

It's not ready for mainstream and likely never will be.
 
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And this sums is up nicely.

All too often when someone complains about a Linux issue the first argument is a deflection towards a similar issue in Windows.

Linux has the same issue now as it did 10 years ago vs XP and 20 years ago vs 3.1 and 95. It's not ready for mainstream. 20 years and still the same opinion from what some might even call [H]ard users. Think of the people out there without the ability to even Google simple things.

It's not ready for mainstream and likely never will be.

This. Linux has had over a decade of people making excuses for it and promising "Soon it's going to be a legitimate alternative for the every day user!"... It's not. I remember hearing that back over a decade ago and while they have progressed a good bit, they are nowhere near where they must be to be a viable alternative. Maybe if someone's parents have an IT guy as a child who can set it up. The average user won't and will have zero chance at doing everything they do in windows and as easily. Linux will never be a mainstream OS to anyone outside of the technical circles and power users.
 
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