A Hurdle Preventing New Linux Users From Staying

In order for people to switch to Linux they must have an inner desire to do so. When I first found out about Linux I thought, “Wow, this is great! I should tell everyone about this!” I’ve since come to realize that many people are satisfied with Windows simply because it works for what they want it to do. It doesn’t matter if it is infected with viruses while they do it; just as long as it does what they want done in a timely fashion, they are satisfied.
Once someone from a Windows background actually starts using Linux there are many things that will hold them back and likely frustrate them. For example, installing programs is very different in Ubuntu; you can either download the binaries, which is what many people that are new to Ubuntu try, or you can use apt-get or “Add/Remove Programs” from the main menu. I’ve found that people switching from Windows try to do, in Linux, what they used to do in Windows; bring up their browser, search for the program online, download the program installer, and install the program. When a new user tries to do this in Linux they often download the binaries, assuming that what is downloading will be a ‘.exe’ equivalent file. What they soon find, though, is that what they downloaded is a folder with the entire program inside, not just a consolidated file. This rightfully confuses because it poses a new situation the user hasn’t yet encountered. Little do they know, the program they are trying to install is most likely in the repos and can be easily installed with a simple command. Unless the user has a desire to find out the best way to install programs in Linux they will probably just decide to switch back to Windows because “Linux is too hard.”

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