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2 many distro's

Posted: 31 Mar 2014 16:10
by Longshot
The other day I was talking to a friend of mine that I had put onto Linux "he now only uses Linux" and is about to try SolydX for the first time. I put Linux mint 13 cinnamon on his laptop about a year ago. Anyway, he was telling me he was trying to talk another guy we know into Linux and that I could help him, my friend gave him some reviews to go read and the DistroWatch website so he could go check out how far Linux has come. After a few days of looking into it, he tells my friend thanks but no thanks, my buddy asks him why, he says, there are to many distros, I don't know where to start, if Linux was so great, how come there are so many? Windows gives you one thing to learn and you can go on with your business.

I have heard of this before, people being scared off because there is so much choice in Linux. Do yall think having so many distros and so many desktops hurts Linux more than it helps?

"Edit" I told my friend next time do the same thing I did for you, just burn a Linux distro to DVD and boot it up for whoever and let them play with it, that way they can see how great it is and then study on other distros later once they are using one.

Re: 2 many distro's

Posted: 31 Mar 2014 16:13
by MAYBL8
The only problem I have with this thinking is :
How does he buy a car?
How does he buy a TV?
There are so many choices.

Re: 2 many distro's

Posted: 31 Mar 2014 16:16
by Longshot
I agree with you Maybl8, I like having choices, what works for one person might not work for another, same reason I use SolydX now and not Ubuntu or Mint.

Re: 2 many distro's

Posted: 31 Mar 2014 16:30
by ScottQuier
I have a couple (or three) of thoughts on this:
  • One of the great things about Linux is that does not attempt to be the "all things for all people" solution. Each distro is targeted to a, larger or smaller, demographic. This is possibly one reason there are so many distro.
  • If one is going to do the "word of mouth" advertising, I would think they would go the extra mile to evaluate the needs of whoever it is they are talking to, suggest a distro well-suited to those needs, and burn the DVD for them, etc. This is kinda the way my son (re-)introduced me to Linux some 15 months ago. He built a series of three VMs, gave them to me, and told me to spin them up (on Windows, using VMWare in case you're interested). He gave me Fedora, LM (with both Cinnamon and MATE), and Ubuntu.
  • People new to the concept of replacing Max OS or Windows are not going to perceive a pressing need to do the research needed to arrive at a decent solution to their needs. There thoughts may run along the lines of "Windows/Mac is there and good enough." They don't have the pressure similar to what they feel when they are considering buying/replacing a car, TV, or other major expenditure.

Re: 2 many distro's

Posted: 31 Mar 2014 20:32
by jsalpha2
While it is true that there are over a hundred distros, most are based on a relatively small number of distros.
Debian based distros are probably the most common. Including Mint based and Ubuntu based. Red Hat based include Fedora, Mageia, OpenSuse, PCLinux and Centos. Also Slackware based, Gentoo based, and Arch Based. You don't have to try every one out there. Just find one you like, that does what you want. Hopefully you will be happy with SolydXK, but if not we also have a section to chat about other distros. If he doesn't know where to start send him here. We hardly ever holler at new users. :D

Re: 2 many distro's

Posted: 31 Mar 2014 23:19
by Longshot
The way I get people to use Linux is just burn them a disk and boot it on their PC. I find out what they like and go from there, for the few who like Windows 8 or Apple, I give them Ubuntu, if they like windows XP or 7 I would go with Linux Mint with cinnamon or a Xfce based distro for an older computer. I have never met anyone who had a computer so old and slow they had to use Lxde. Now I'm giving out SolydX, easy to use and works in any computer that I have ran across. If someone would like to try out KDE, I suggest SolydK, I don't use KDE or like it, little harder for me to help set it up but I do my best.

Re: 2 many distro's

Posted: 03 Apr 2014 12:43
by Deleted User 2764
MAYBL8 wrote:The only problem I have with this thinking is :
How does he buy a car?
How does he buy a TV?
There are so many choices.
Or even a computer or cell phone? Again, lots of choices. But those being technical would be more in line with distros. I think the choices are good but I too do think there's "too many distros". But again, I think that's a good thing, not bad. I would never have a new-to-linux user go to distro watch. That is a great site if you want to see what's out there but it would only confuse people. I think that should be reserved for only the curious who have been using Linux awhile.

What I'd recommend is stick with the latest "Big 3" (whatever it is will depend on one's views here, I think). Though I personally would recommend only two: SolydXK for the desktop and pure Debian for servers.

Throwing a lot of choices at someone can only turn them away. Many don't want to take the time to pour through tons of information and wonder what to do or choose. Those buying cars, TVs, computers usually either shop by price they can afford and/or what they know others are using successfully. In the case of Linux (being that usually it doesn't cost anything to download and install a distro), it would probably have to be word of mouth.

I would recommend new users ask others they know what distro of Linux they are using and then try it themselves in a virtual machine or live CD.

Re: 2 many distro's

Posted: 03 Apr 2014 16:22
by drc
MAYBL8 wrote:The only problem I have with this thinking is :
How does he buy a car?
How does he buy a TV?
There are so many choices.
Or even breakfast cereal or orange juice :(

Re: 2 many distro's

Posted: 03 Apr 2014 20:23
by Fargo
As others have mentioned, I usually try to narrow down the choices to 2-3 options. For new users I like to stick to stable releases. A new user coming from windows will not know what to do with a rolling release (Sorry XK home editions) So I typically recommend SolydKBE for a Debian stable release, Kubuntu or Ubuntu LTS, and for those who want more control over their system I recommend Mageia because of their awesome control center. I also try to feel out which desktop environment will be best for them before burning the cd. Although I usually push people towards KDE because most people want all the features and eye candy. Not to mention its the one I am most comfortable with when I am asked to help them with something.

As far as too many distros, I don't feel that their are too many distros as much as their is a lack of standards and holes in reliable software. I wish Ubuntu or some other big Corp would really get behind Linux and be the standard bearer that other companies wrote proprietary software too. Open source software is great, but I always find some issue with something and wish I had more choices in software.

Re: 2 many distro's

Posted: 03 Apr 2014 23:07
by Longshot
I can't agree with KDE for new people, I have found that people new to Linux just want it to work, to many settings can scare people that are not use to it. That's why people new to Linux like Unity so much, you can't really change anything on it. After using Linux, then people start to want to play around with it, they see what others have done and think it looks cool, so then they move on to desktops like KDE.

Re: 2 many distro's

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 00:03
by Deleted User 2763
The funny thing is that every distro on distro-watch describes itself as "user friendly".
"You can pick your friends; you can pick your nose; but you can't pick your friend's nose (or distro)"
-Hinto

Re: 2 many distro's

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 01:50
by Deleted User 2764
@Hinto: If I could thumbs-up your post, I would! :)

Re: 2 many distro's

Posted: 04 Apr 2014 05:53
by Longshot
Nice Hinto :lol: