If this is having an effect on the spread of free software (which I strongly doubt) then it's a very slight one. His image is iconic, if you've seen him once then you'll recognise him whenever you see him again, which is very good for any movement that doesn't mind having a figurehead. He could cut his hair and wear a suit, but then he would look like any corporate programmer. It would be like peasants revolting while dressed like noblemen so their enemies will respect them more, it would completely go against their ideals.
Another thing that badly affects his image is the way he's such a diva in interviews. Instead of speaking prepared answers, he should answer questions in the moment and only answer the questions asked - not ask another question in return, as he often does.
That being said, I like his voice/accent uwu
Let's try this. Despite my feelings, I completely disagree with OP's claim. And here is why;
1) Richard Stallman is not a very visible figure to the average person. Even some of the most computer-phobic people know who Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or even Mark Zuckerburg are and these people (like them or hate them) are pretty big cultural icons. It doesn't matter what they actually contributed to computing hardware or software or even how harmful they may be but to average person who we should be talking to, they know who these people are yet don't know who Stallman is. And it's his fault for that, this is a guy who refuses certain public transports because it's not using free software, he isn't on Facebook or other large social networks where he could be getting a larger audience. And he could reasonably pull this off, if members of the alt-right could pull thousands of young people into their rebranded anti-Semitic white nationalism, then Stallman could have done his part to spread free software besides his website and mailing lists.
tl;dr Stallman isn't visible enough to be able to cause harm to the cause, and whatever harm he has caused, it might be considered very mild at worst.
2) There are more people to the free software movement than Stallman, most of them are more important than he is. If you like Linux or think that LibreOffice or GIMP are cool beans, then you RESPECTFULLY show this off in appropriate times. Maybe don't have the half naked anime women as your wallpaper or use a basic DE without too much rice and just show how simple your computer running mostly free software is to use and explain some of the benefits of a nicer TOS.
Personally, if we are going to blame any person for hampering free software, then it'd be any zealot who is too hostile towards people online or offline when the topic of computers comes up. Or the stereotypical anime loving neckbeard Arch user who has loli lesbians on his X220's wallpaper. And that is debatable really, since the former is common but they are zealots about anything (anti-Apple, anti-console, etc. doesn't matter) not just Linux and the neckbeard strawman has the same issue as Stallman in terms of visibility.
In my opinion, free software needs more ad time on television and Youtube. I'm surprised that Csushi rollical hasn't used something like Big Bang Theory to advertise Ubuntu heavily. Didn't the show have some big Linux guy on it? And I remember one of the characters wearing an Ubuntu shirt when my brother was watching it. I don't watch tv so I'm just going off the few scenes I saw.
Free software definitely need more and better representation. Don't know how many times I've turned off a video or ignored an article since the author chose to present their riced up anime loli desktop while demonstrating some new distribution or operating system. I don't think that kind of stuff don't do anything but push people away. Ofc. there is stuff like baby WOGUE on youtube, but I don't think normies is that channels target audience. Overall, I think something like level1linux or msknight5 do a much better job with their basic unriced desktops and default/inoffensive wallpapers, but their target audience is also more technical.
On TV, I think Mr. Robot have been decent for getting new people. They show their chosen distributions and desktop environments in a very recognizable state, and the characters sometimes talk about their choices too. People might be joining for the wrong reasons, but they might also stay for all the right reasons. Seen people on IRC talk about that, since people joined IRC to become leet hackers, but ended up staying as decent members of the communities they settled on.
Representation on TV and in movies certainly will raise awareness and tempt people to switch, but I think the biggest issue is getting computers with free software in stores, and make sales guys actually push free software options. For as long as the sales guys have high margin cheap shitty laptops preloaded with Windows to push, they will continue to push those instead of a more expensive XPS developer edition that they might also have lower margins on (pretty much why sales guys don't like to push apple products). I think this is a harder nut to crack than finding representation on popular media, but without awareness, people won't even think to ask for free software when they're out looking for a new computer either, so maybe it needs to start with TV and Movies. Would be great if the womenfolk in the big bang theory were to talk about free software, since I think they seem more like real human beings, and people might relate more with those characters. There are a lot more Pennies and Bernadettes in the world than Sheldons.
>>1194>Don't know how many times I've turned off a video or ignored an article since the author chose to present their riced up anime loli desktop while demonstrating some new distribution or operating system.
Yea, while I do very little rice, pic related. I think this is maybe the most "ricing" or modifications that should ever really be shown. I'll admit that I used to be the guy with anime women on his desktop but if I am to show Linux and have it taken seriously, I should either go default, use something like the moon or something else inoffensive or if I want cute, I use pictures of animals. But yes, I do agree the whole loli Unix-porn setups likely play a role in free software's image.
But outside of television and movies, free software needs to be talked about in everyday conversation at least when it's appropriate.
I think you misunderstand. This is about image, which, does matter. If you are talking to most normies, the use of loli or anything that might seem "misogynistic" as your wallpaper should be avoided. We don't need people's experience with free software to be associated with creeps when it's hard enough to talk about privacy (as an example) without someone trying to imply we must be into some really sketchy things because we talk about privacy.
We also should maintain Linux as being easy to get into, if you are a new user, then pics related are weird and first impressions matter. So in short, yes, if I meet someone complaining about their software and I can show them my laptop to say, "Here's an alternative!!" I can get more people with a basic UI and a wallpaper that won't distract them because they're wondering if I'm some sort of sexual deviant.
I can't help that anime still has a weird stigma to it, but I can make free software look easy to use.
OS X does this neat thing, that I'm sure a lot of people think is very annoying. When you connect a new monitor or projector, that monitor gets the default wallpaper. It is a neat feature when you do presentations and such as you don't expose your power level to the world. No idea if desktop environments like GNOME does that. This is more of an issue with power level than promoting an OS tho.
I think for the most part, people making guides should present each step with a default install of whatever distro their guide targets. I don't know how often I've had to help people achieve something with their distro because the person that wrote the guide were skipping steps or had massive spelling errors in the command examples. The author probably didn't see those errors on their system since they had already completed the steps before, so their configs and services were already prepared for what they wanted to do. These people were left with a very bad impression of a flaky system full of instabilities and nonsensical issues due to poorly written guides (that had a high ranking on google).
This is also why I ultimately dislike Fedora. I think its documentation is poor, and can be confusing. Their documentation has lots of dead links. The distro itself is decent enough, and I've never really had any issues with their software, but the documentation leaves a lot to be desired. Makes me me wonder why more technical distrobutions and operating systems like Gentoo and FreeBSD have great documentation, while something more "friendly" like Fedora ends up with shit documentation.
I wish more did like this guide on cooltrainer.org, and updated it with new information once the OS they target is updated.https://cooltrainer.org/a-freebsd-desktop-howto/
I know Cinnamon doesn't do that. It generally just duplicates wallpaper. As far as documentation, I would say that while I'm not new to Linux, I wouldn't say I'm an advanced user either. But I've never really need documentation since Mint has been pretty easy to work with, so I can't comment too much on it.
>>1197>that might seem "misogynistic"
Hell no I don't give a single shit. There are too many NPCs and bluehairs in technology already, I'm not interested in bringing any more.
Linux got CoC'd due to retards like you. It will become the next Wangblows. Just you wait.>Linux should be easy to get into
That's bullshit. Linux being easy to get into is what caused it to become full of memeware and bloat like systemdicks and pissaudio: because the users coming from wangblows and CrapOS cared more about "muh features" than anything else, including security, privacy, or freedom.
The gaymurrs are playing a big role in this. Those california rolls place more importance on being able to use their shitty proprietary GPU drivers and play their retarded gaymes than actually using the operating system as something that gives them more flexibility and freedom.(USER WAS GIVEN A TAMPON FOR THE LEVEL OF BUTTHURT IN THIS POST)
You use too many buzzwords. Hard to take you seriously when you talk like that.
I don't agree with everything the other sushi roll(s) said above, but they spoke well, and I take them seriously, even tho their opinions don't always align with my own.
But you get my point right? Linux becoming "popular" and "easy to use" just turns it into the next windows.
I've switched to OpenBSD already so I couldn't give less of a shit what happens to Linux, but I don't want the same thing happening to my OS once Linux becomes full of shit. It will take time, but it is happening.
Not those sushi rolls you are replying to, but I'm actually just wondering what you would do with that additional flexibility and freedom? What does it change from using a standard OS? i do think it's important in explaining to people why this stuff is important.
>>1203>what you would do with that additional flexibility and freedom
These are just a few examples, but for example with Gentoo you can customise which features of software are compiled in. You can choose what software is installed, to a much greater degree than with Windows.
With proprietary OSes like Windows and Mac OS, the user is NOT able to remove software he doesn't want. The user is not able to customize the source code, or change the window manager, or custom-configure the kernel.
Attracting large numbers of Windows users to Linux is counter-productive to these benefits. The Windows users will be overwhelmed by the choices available. They don't like that. They will prefer to use the crappy software which is easy to use and superficially more featureful rather than software which allows great flexibility and configurability.
I'm not talking out of my ass. I've helped several windows users install Linux in the past, and all of them have demanded me provide tech support, and demanded to install proprietary software such as google chrome and skype just because they were used to it. It's like refugees flooding into a foreign country. They will never assimilate, they will only demand their customs, habits and preferences be carried over into the new environment.
I will never help people install Linux or any other free software again. That was a huge mistake and still causes me headaches to this day.
Your point seemed to be about spewing buzzwords.
I don't think popular or easy to use is a problem. The problem free software have now is poor documentation, breakage due to updated libraries (fluidsynth just recently got updated to 2.x on my distro, which broke gzdoom), and excessive complexity. The latter I think projects like systemd and pulseaudio should take part of the blame for.
It isn't just complicated, but also messy. The mount point for my smb shares (through caja) is excessively long and not something I'd simply find on my own in the file system, like I can on OS X (all shares are mounted under /Volumes). Would be so much easier and simpler (and a lot less messy) to simply mount shares and drives under /media.
Mount points like these don't help anyone.
People with blue hair is a very small minority. Popularity and attracting the majority would bring you the productive people with actual jobs, the kind of people that watch TV on friday night, and fire up the grill on saturday. These people don't care about hair colour or community guidelines.
>>1200>There are too many NPCs and bluehairs in technology already, I'm not interested in bringing any more.
You do realize I am talking about the average person? These "blue hairs" or whatever buzzword you want to talk about are not average person. I hate to say it but you really do come off as the kind of hostile person who ends up turning people off from free software that I mentioned.
As far as your last points, I don't agree with Linux ever becoming the next Windows. Just in terms of actually using Linux, I still never have to buy a product key for my Mint install, I don't have updates shoved down my throat without my consent, and if a distro goes out of line, it's just going to get forked into something better. Which are fantastic reasons for your average person to switch to free software, even if you don't like their opinions.
Finally, I enjoy gaming on PC but I don't expect Linux to ever be good at gaming. It doesn't have to be, I'm content with a separate gaming PC with Windows on it. But, for free software to get better, there needs to be more people using it.>>1205
You are selling people a little short, sushi. It'd be better for that person to use Linux and have Skype than to continue using Windows beyond gaming. The people you helped most likely wanted Skype because they have several contacts on there, it happens. I think people getting their feet wet is better than nothing.
I think one major thing people miss in these kinds of threads is people mentioning Linux as a desktop OS, like the people posting riced animu screenshots. Here's the thing: the vast majority of Linux's usefulness is in embedded/IoT systems, servers, etc. Not laptops or desktops. I use macOS on my MacBook but I use Linux on my servers. They're not the same use-case.
Ofc. They already are good servers and embedded systems, but I think they could also be good for desktop and workstation computers, with some effort.
For me, I don't think Apple is making laptops and desktop computers that I would like to spend money on anymore, so OS X is out of the question, and MS is totally mishandling Windows. The only real option left for me then is free software. Over the past year, I've tried a few desktop environments, but all of the major ones (mate, gnome, kde, xfce) leave a lot to be desired. The setup I like the most is on my laptop with CRUX as the distro and i3 (no rice), but that's not suitable at all for regular people. I think I would scare away a lot of people with my black terminals, tiling window manager, and the fact that you have to make a lot of your own packages for this niche distro.
OOTB desktop Linux is leaps and bounds ahead of where it was a decade ago. for all the moaning on chans about it, systemd works well. Fedora with SE Linux and Ubuntu with AppArmor are good efforts at providing sane security defaults without any effort on the part of the person installing it.
>>1210>sane security defaults
Except it complains when you do something as simple as clone and replace a HDD, or an application tries to change a file it has owner and group permissions for writing. Overall SELinux just ended up being very annoying and I disabled it. SystemD does too much, is confusing, and gives your system potentially unexpected behaviour due to its configuration with fallback dns.
Linux itself is better ofc (wifi, 3d acceleration, and audio that works), but there is very little about userland that is better today than it was 10-15 years ago. Desktop environments feels like they became less stable and less flexible. Several tools like SystemD are much more complicated than what they replaced. I tried to learn to work with SystemD, but it still feels like dark magic to me. These systems works when they work, but when you need to change something, they become a major pain in the ass. SystemD is more of the same stuff that I feel is far too common these days. Someone saw OS X or some other system from afar, squinted a bit, and tried to replicate the same concept on GNU/Linux, and failed miserably.
>>1211>Someone saw OS X or some other system from afar, squinted a bit, and tried to replicate the same concept on GNU/Linux, and failed miserably.
Unix is a spinoff of Multics
macOS copied BSD
GNU/Linux copied Unix
4chan copied 2chan
Facebook copied MySpace
Apple iPad copied Windows tablets
original ideas are very rare
Those either took a shit concept and made it good, or adapted a concept for a different market or use case. The modern GNU/Linux desktop feels like it has been made by someone that squinted. I started using GNU/Linux on my desktop computer back in 2004, and I can't say things have gotten better (outside of drivers, but that's 100% a kernel improvement). To me it feels like everything got a lot more complicated, but the utility have not improved at all.
I though kernel is ring 0, and drivers are ring 1 and ring 2. But yeah, I know what you mean.
On the plus side though, I like how some software feels the same. GIMP is similar, and I am accustomed to it. Photoshop has changed a lot over the years, to the point that I don't even really know how to use the most recent versions of Photoshop CC. It's changed a lot since the CS3-CS4 days.
Familiarity can be nice in some ways. But then again, it also feels like it's stagnating to other people.
While x86 has four rings in theory, ring 1 and 2 are rarely used. Both Windows and Linux run drivers in context of ring 0. If you use the other rings, it doesn't have to be for device drivers, either: Xen, for example, runs the hypervisor in ring 0 and pushes the guest kernel into ring 1 when used in paravirtualization mode.
I feel like putting lots of stuff in ring 0 (and just monolithic kernels in general) are lazy. I'd rather have something modular like Minix. Of course, what's funny is that the only mainstream use of Minix today is being embedded in Intel processors for hidden rings (-1 and -2).
>>1208>implying Linux isn't usable on a desktop/laptop system in 2018
But the average end user expects a desktop OS to be like Windows.>>1210>SystemD, SELinux
They are over-complicated and confusing. I think AppArmor is better choice than SELinux since it's easier to use and it's not developed by the NSA. But in all honesty, SELinux and AppArmor are too much for average home system. SystemD tries to do too many different things which makes it harder to just use parts of it and switch the parts you don't like to something else. In my opinion, sane security defaults are more about providing good default configuration files and not enabling services by default.>>1213
It's too bad that "modern" desktop environments, like GNOME, are focusing on removing useful features and copying the worst parts of Windows 8/Botnet 10/Apple's MacOS/Mobile OSes.>>1217
I think Hybrid Kernel meme is the way to go. If you put too much stuff in ring zero, then it becomes slow (unless you go full TempleOS). I think the fault tolerance of MINIX is quite interesting https://wiki.minix3.org/doku.php?id=publications
>>1221>But the average end user expects a desktop OS to be like Windows.
But… if a person were to show them that, yes, Linux can be very much like Windows then I'd say it wouldn't matter outside of say gamers or people who need very specific software. If you have a co-worker who is mostly on Facebook and other things that are mostly on the browser then what is the difference? A lot of common Linux DEs use the exact same keyboard shortcuts, a few of the common browsers like Firefox and Chrome, a lot of things people do on a computer is browser based anyway like banking, email, and even word processing with Google docs or MS Word Online. Average end user is also already used to "software centers" from their smartphones' app stores so using Ubuntu's software center wouldn't be that much of a stretch for them. Linux, if being used to get people's feet wet into free software, is pretty much like Windows especially if you are showing them Linux Mint's cinnamon DE. Only a diehard Windows fan or just a very stubborn person could look at something that won't shove updates down their throat that after complaining about Windows 10 resetting suddenly and still stick with Windows. Unless they are gamers or need specific software only on Windows, then sure, it happens.
Point is, I think it's bad to sell the average end user short like this.
Sure, if they just need a browser. A lot of people will want office productivity software, email client, media player applications, and maybe they want to mount their phone or camera to transfer and look at photos. This kinds of stuff is where the bigger differences between the OS X and Windows side of the fence, and the traditional GNU/Linux based systems start to show, in a bad way (in the eyes of regular people). It is great when it works, and often you'll need someone to show up to configure that kind of stuff for these people, while often they can do that kind of stuff just fine on their own on OS X or Windows. I don't think it is just a matter of what they're used to either, and it is definitely not enough to use a windows-like theme.
What the GNU/Linux desktop should be like for regular users should be rethinked. A very small basic LTS distro (major updates _only_ once every 1-2 years or so). You can probably already do that with Ubuntu LTS or Centos, and something like AppImage, but I wonder if that is enough. I think a lot of people will start looking for the Ubuntu application for whatever, and end up being horribly confused by apt, debs, repositories, instead of looking for the AppImage. A marketing and knowledge problem maybe. Windows users switching to OS X run into such problems too, but there is lots of documentation online about how to copy .app bundles to your /Applications folder. Fresh OS X users are never told to install VLC and all their dependencies with dnf (after adding whatever repo has mp3 and h264 capabilities).
I think something without the baggage of Ubuntu and RedHat could do reasonably well in the eyes of regular people, if something like AppImage was used and marketed from the start. A distro where launching GUI applications is as simple as navigating to /Applications, and double clicking whichever application you want. Not having to care about paths and the regular hierarchy of /usr and /var.
Looking through my desktop thread folder makes me wish I cared a little bit more about ricing, but finding a nice color scheme is so much effort.
When you put it like that, I guess my posts are mostly me projecting my willingness to experiment and my own basic needs, as well as the fact that I own multiple computers/devices for different tasks, so in a way, I always have Windows and Linux for whatever I need. Now that I think about it, I used to think that I was pretty close to the average end user, but when I really think about it, I'm not. Just because I'm satisfied with Linux for email/word processing/etc doesn't mean others are. Honestly, I see nothing wrong with Linux as is besides maybe some weird visual quirks and some weird bugs here or there.
>A distro where launching GUI applications is as simple as navigating to /Applications, and double clicking whichever application you want. Not having to care about paths and the regular hierarchy of /usr and /var.
I'll give you that one, that would be nice for anyone, really.
I used to use a Linux distro as a daily driver OS, back when I was young and didn't use a computer for work or college. But now that I'm older, and do a lot more stuff on my computer, there is a massive gap in support for commercial software in Windows and macOS (similarly well-supported) and GNU/Linux (practically non-existent).
If your requirements are pretty basic, GNU/Linux seems fine for a desktop OS.
But you can't use a lot of industry-standard tools for it. The problem is that a lot of people who don't use these things think the FOSS equivalents are "good enough" even though that's not the case.
GIMP really isn't as good as Photoshop. LibreOffice is quirky sometimes, and that can be an issue when you work with people who all use Microsoft Office 365. Outlook is standard as an office email client, Thunderbird isn't that great.
IF all you do is web-based stuff, you won't notice a difference. But try using GNU/Linux for creative work, programming, or office job stuff, and you'll notice all the flaws. There are a lot of what I'd call "spinoff apps" in GNU/Linux desktop OS repos, and although they might look relatively decent, most really aren't.
People don't use an OS for the OS itself. They use an OS so they can run software in it. Nobody cares about bits and bytes and window managers. People care about getting a project done before a deadline, using tools that enhance their workflow, stability, actual customer support (forums and image boards don't count), etc. As Steve Ballmer once said, "developers developers developers developers developers developers developers developers." 3rd party development is what really makes or breaks an OS. The software ecosystem around an OS is really important.
Linux is continuing to prove itself useful for embedded and IoT scenarios, and will always be the best choice for servers, but GNU/Linux is less and less relevant for desktop stuff.
Remember that not everyone uses computers the same way.
I use CloudLinux on my servers and DD-WRT on my router. I use FreeBSD on my file server. But I won't use anything other than macOS and Windows on my laptop (unless you count a Kali Linux VM, but that's not really the same thing).
>>1236>The problem is that a lot of people who don't use these things think the FOSS equivalents are "good enough" even though that's not the case.
I can kinda relate to this, I remember a discussion where I was told that I should use emulators for gaming on Linux or "get a console" when I pointed out how poor PC gaming is on Linux. So, actually, I completely understand what you mean even though I don't use any sort of industry standard software.
And, actually, it's kinda silly, but I use Windows as well not just for gaming but sometimes I find the tools for creating Linux bootable drives way better. Again, even though I'd love to see more people with basic needs use Linux on their laptops and desktops, even I use different OSes for different tasks.
I guess the only other issue with FOSS is the immature "Wangblows" and "Botnet 10" buzzwording. I don't know how to talk with people like that since the debate never goes anywhere.
>>1236>Outlook is standard as an office email client, Thunderbird isn't that great.
On the free software side, I've settled on Evolution. I could never enjoy thunderbird or claws/sylpheed, and I don't know if it can replace Outlook for businesses, but I think it is a decent alternative for someone like me that was perfectly happy with Apple's Mail.app.
But as you say, my requirements are basic (outside of virtual machines).>>1237
But all you need is Quake :3
>>1236> But try using GNU/Linux for creative work
This is merely a personal thing, but the times when I used open source stuff for creative work, I had no problem working with it. Krita is already well known and loved, but personally I largely stuck with doing stuff in MyPaint and Inkscape after I decided to stop pirating Adobe stuff. GIMP is pretty clunky, and Inkscape posed some issue initially too, but I could still work well with the tools I had.
It's likely I'm not quite advanced enough to need the Adobe tools. On the other hand, David Revoy exists.
Yeah, I have to agree. I don't really find there is much difference at the low level between modern popular open source software, and closed source enterprise software. Ten years ago there were pretty big differences, but today the only real differences I notice tend to be in the UI department, and in how the software corporations get to dictate how people relate to software in general. Like people say how clunky open source is, but I think that's mainly because their baseline has been set based on whatever software they use at work. As someone who hasn't really used commercial software outside of when it's absolutely necessary (for work comparability and stuff), I find that often times the commercial stuff is just as clunky and poorly designed, but people just take that for granted. It being "intuitive" or better is just a function of being more exposed to it.
I mean, of course it is true that companies like adobe cater to industries creating tools and tweeks for specific clients and such, that isn't really gonna happen in an open source community driven product, but I don't think those are nearly as useful to users as they are to firms with specific market goals. I've always got the feeling that when most people say "open source software is inadequate" they really mean "I do not want to learn a whole new system when I already know this one inside and out". It's fine to prefer a polished commercial system that you know, but I don't think it's fair that FOSS gets a bad rap because of that.
That's like saying that the logo defines the success of a product, rather than advertising and merit…
There are some problems with FOSS software, usually minor but occasionally glaring and sometimes the result of some kind of malformed stubborn bullshit where the people with "creative direction" just never fucking hop on it. The big example is the fact that GIMP after all these goddamn years STILL doesn't have nondestructive photo editing, which is pretty much a prerequisite in actually doing any sort of semi-serious photo editing or even using it to draw.
Of course 99% of the population doesn't need these features, they only want to fix red-eye and add meme effects to Bogandoff, and hobbyists modelling weapons for their Skyrim mod don't need Maya, Blender has all the tools they'll ever need. But the fact that actual professional work really wants the tools that open source software actually does lack sometimes, or has but in degraded form, and the fact that contracts for open source software doesn't come with tech support, extreme priority security fixes, servers, and so on, means that it can't break into "real" work; and the fact that it's relegated almost entirely to the hobby and incidental use means that when people go looking for what software to use, they usually go looking for "the best" - and by most standards, professional closed source software, written by professionals and used by professionals to make all your favorite games and music and art, a class professionals that you, a serious user, wants to join - well then clearly there is only one superior option, even if GIMP does 99% of what photoshop does and arguably has a less memetastic UI.>>1796
You would be astounded at how much money companies put into logo design and how it is shown to affect product performance.
I'm still using it, but the mic has been broken on my system for a whole year due to an update of pulseaudio. they fixed it and it worked fine for half a year, but now they broke something with my mic again…
My self maintained custom Pkgfile for OSSv4 was more stable and less hassle than pulseaudio…
I think the barrier to everyday people using Linux on the regular will always be software. This isn't to imply good open alternatives to regularly utilized software don't exist, but rather that for one reason or another the layperson can't or won't switch to them.
It's a huge topic on my college campus about whether or not students should jump ship to Linux, and the three major points of contention are always
- I play games/my software runs on Windows
- I don't want to take the time to learn a new system
- I don't want to be known as someone that doesn't touch grass
Most people using computers near-exclusively use Chrome, and nothing else. It's hard to understate how widespread that is. The "linux desktop" in its current state is completely ready to handle all of those users.
Once you break out of that circle, though, you run into a few more problems:
- Microsoft Office
- Adobe Suite, related creative work
Even if alternatives exist most people don't want to spend the time reteaching themselves anything or have to use a very specific piece of software for school or work. Some sushis early up in the thread were discussing how they felt the creative tools that exist for linux are "sufficient but different", but this just still isn't true. Krita is great but it still has rendering problems. We have no After Effects sidegrade. This is a HUGE deficit. Adobe owns the space and could reasonably create linux support, but will not. That really needs to change. Mainstream DAWs also do not run on Linux, maybe with the exception of Reaper.
Gaming support is making huge leaps and bounds with Proton but still hasn't quite made it there. All of the people I know that 'main' Linux still keep a Win partition around for Office school work and gaming, including myself.
Microsoft is slowly pivoting all of its software into the webapp world which is sad because webapps but also sort of nice because it removes the operating system dependency, which could mean way more businesses ditching Windows for Linux.
As for whether or not "image" is contributing factor for free software's mainstream acceptance– I don't think Stallman himself is really a public enough figure to make a huge world of difference, or even anime desktop wallpapers. These two things have been historically popular within Linux enthusiast circles but don't really propagate outside too much.
That doesn't stop the association of linux users with general degeneracy and neckbeard-dom from becoming a thing, though. Or maybe more accurately, a meme. Something I've noticed that really can't help at all is the prevalence of linux-centric content creators online using chan buzzwords and iconography in their videos and blog posts. They aren't huge in number, but they're popular. I can't help but physically cringe whenever I see a wojak on a vim tutorial or some shit. This isn't even about making linux mainstream, it's just about not acting like a dumbass. Maybe it's because I've gotten older, but now that there's a half-decade mainstream buildup of association with chan culture with widely publicized right-wing politics (politics in general is a great way to isolate your audience, and yes, I know free software is an inherently political cause), I can't see that helping anyone. It's not particularly funny, anyway.
Finally, in terms of general usability… I've been daily driving linux in various forms seriously since I was 11 or 12 so I'd like to think, from personal experience, it's something literally everyone can use.
I will say though that I've been surprised by is how eager my real-life peers are that are linux users to break their systems. Teenagers run to use Arch because it's the cool and hip thing to do without actually doing any reading about their system first. It's funny. They're not hurting anyone but it's definitely time to create some linux "choose your OS!" guides that put way more emphasis on distributions a gentler learning curve, lol.
In the end, I think linux is still a hobby for most right now. In terms of everyday people, it's still for "people that like computers". And honestly, for the time being, that's okay. I have a lot of fun using linux and love using my computer the way I do. Things are slowly leaning toward Linux in every sense. Microsoft is paying less and less attention to Windows. The natural shift is in our favor, and I've also just noticed way more software in general providing linux support even if the percentage of users is really low. I think the state of affairs right now is good and general and more and more of the above problems will be solved as time passes, this shift continues, and we continue to improve linux! Even nvidia is loosening up!
if we can get social media influencers and egirls to start using linux and showing it off as status symbol and fashion statement i think that would help the cause of free/open source software alot. since influencers and egirls like aesthetics i think getting them into ricing the os and showing off the customability of linux and making easy to edit loadouts for beginners would be a great start for getting these people into linux.
Perfect plan! So, most e-girls probablydont wanna go screwing with config files and terminals (some do I'm sure) but people could offer "ricing as a service" that would help give it its expense that would make for a good status symbol.
Thanks for the post sushi. While I think that the Office suite and the Adobe suite may prevent potential users of free operating systems from switching from Windows, there isn't much anybody can do about that.
People have tried again and again to create free as in freedom alternatives to such softwares which outperform the originals but you just can't take their brand and slap it on. In that regard I am hopeful in the efforts of the Wine project as even if not on production level, they managed to make the Microsoft Office suite run quite well.
I do not mean to be mean yet I think that desktop Linux is going to be relatively niche as long as it assumes that the user of the system knows a thing about what they are doing. I apologise for sounding cynical but I think that the average Windows user doesn't know a thing about what they are clicking and doesn't expect to have to do so.
And I do not mean that in a bad way, I am not criticising or accusing anyone of being alliterate or "a sheep". I just think that the general attitude towards computing has changed. I personally believe that many people have stopped wanting to have to know the computer. I will attempt to not jump to early conclusions but I believe that many current users just want to do fairly analog work cheaply and effeciently with the least amount of thought possible. This makes the Windows ecosystem an excellent candidate a lot of the time.
Windows uses an extremely easy visual UI design style that unifies most programs and presents the user with an extremely simple control scheme. Almost everything is present as a button/a left-clickable object with at least some written description built-in, with the keyboard having to be used for only a very small subset of tasks. This allows an uninterested user to just pick up the computer, do what the PC tells the user to do and go on with their work. Of course, there are some options for the case you need to alter how the system behaves but everything is presented in such a sandbox of dialogs that the uninterested user is able to solve most of their problems by following the system's orders and tutorials, without ever having to touch the deeper layers of the system or understanding how it works.
I am sorry to end on such a downer but I believe that as long as the community will continue to expect the users to not be willingly clueless about their computers and will require the users to tame and adjust their experience for the system to suit them as well as Windows, you can’t expect the masses to move to such an operating system.
TL;DR: Many users don’t even want the total unguided freedom offered by Linux, they want the system to help them and hold their hand most of the time.