February 23, 2019

Is Linux Difficult to Use?


  • May 29, 1999
  • By James Andrews

This is a frequently asked question about Linux. Perhaps because most people have heard that Linux is similar to Unix. Unix has an image problem. Many people only know Unix as something tedious they came across at college. Other people think of it as something used by scientists and run on powerful but expensive workstations. However, in several important ways Linux is not like Unix. Linux runs on personal computers. This means that it is suitable for and aimed at a wider base of users than Unix. As well as the hardware, the applications software for Linux is developed with a different market in mind. You, the user, are the target for Linux software and not an abstract set of development goals.

Another concern with Linux is that it is not like the old operating system you are used to. Yes, Linux is not MacOS or Windows. But there are similarities in addition to differences. All modern operating systems support software to run a 'Windows, Icons, Mouse, Pull-down menus' or WIMP graphical user interface. Linux is no exception. Using a Window Manager under Linux is, in essence, no different to the desktop on other operating systems.

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