The FOSS world must understand “just install Linux” won’t cut it. We must make “the whole widget” as Jobs would say.

But don’t listen to me, let Stallman make the case:

Richard: I’ve never installed the GNU plus Linux system on a computer myself.

Me: Really?

Richard: I always found someone who knew how to do that. Got someone to do it for me.

Me: So it was so difficult that you have not installed…

Richard: No, it's just that I was so busy, I didn’t wanna learn how.

I agree that more can be done in making these things accessible, but most Linux distributions aimed at average users has no learning curve for installing it.

Especially not for someone like RMS. Insert USB drive, boot, follow the prompts. I don't care how busy you are, that's only 2 short steps more than a new windows or mac PC.

@jeffalyanak @aral But you have to realize people are comparing to:

1. Buy computer.
2. Use computer. have the right idea.

Yeah, but it's a negligible amount of extra work. I just don't think that the install process is the issue.

If the Linux experience was significantly better than it currently is, people wouldn't have any issues taking that minor step.

The problem is both in the user experience and the familiarity gap, not the ease-of-acess.

@jeffalyanak @freakazoid @aral lemme put it this way. a lot of people have zero free time to burn an install medium and sit through the installation, then configure all the basic system settings and install their programs... that is a non-zero investment of time and effort. you may think it is "negligible", but trust me, it's not about lack of knowledge. and it doesn't compare to having a working computer out-of-the-box.

@freakazoid @aral
Lots of companies sell install mediums that are as simple or simpler than the onboarding for a new Windows PC.

Lots of companies sell laptops with Linux pre-installed.

Very few people buy these products.

It's not about accessibility, most people wouldn't switch to Linux right now even if you made it a one-click install.

@jeffalyanak @freakazoid @aral there are a *lot* more factors to why someone doesn't buy a specific laptop. awareness, ignorance, preference, features, build quality, etc etc. but the primary observation is that the vast majority of people never install their own operating system -- windows included.

@trwnh @jeffalyanak @freakazoid @aral There's one glaring flaw in the argument that very few people buy these products.

No people are not buying Ubuntu or other big distro computers, but they are buying Chromebooks in droves. Yeah, they're not quite the same thing, but it's still Gentoo under the hood.


@halfcutskeleton @trwnh @jeffalyanak @freakazoid A Chromebook is the epitome of a surveillance device. “This panopticon runs on Linux” is hardly reason to celebrate. If we follow that line of reasoning, Surveillance Capitalism runs almost exclusively on Linux and Linux doesn’t make any value judgements about surveillance (see Linus’s remarks + the first class support for surveillance capitalism in GNOME, etc.)

@aral @trwnh @jeffalyanak @freakazoid I'd like to point out that my comment is not an endorsement. Just a statement regarding Linux derivatives and their mass market popularity.

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