You are on page 1of 10

Linux vs.

The experiment
Warren Fulcher

In the Linux world this is not so. a well know operating system to IT Specialists. Also unlike its biggest rival Windows. Known for its robustness. And unlike most Windows software. most people don¶t know what it is and those who have heard of it see it as a difficult to use and hard to learn operating system. Queue the Transition: 2 . Most think it is just an operating system reserved for only those advanced users or hackers. There are also many different ³flavors´ of Linux. it is cheap and quick to implement. and they are always evolving. and ability be adapted for almost any situation with relative ease if the operator knows the system well enough. But what good does this do for a normal user? The little guy who only knows of Windows and Mac. And in some cases the software that is loaded on the newest one will not work on the older versions or vice versa. stability. You are not restricted to just one version and you are not worrying if the program you just will work on a different version of Linux if you decide you do not like the current one you have. In fact if you look at Windows 7 and most of the more recent Linux distributions you will notice that Windows 7 shares a lot of the same look and feel that its Linux counterpart has. There are many different flavors. In the Windows world you are restricted to several different operating systems but only one company produces it and the latest one is the only one of its kind.From the Beginning: Linux. you can actually find and obtain most Linux software for free. This could not be farther from the truth. Usually when the word Linux is mentioned.

The Experiment: At one time one of the most difficult and expensive process of using a computer was installing the operating system. What I hope to achieve by this experiment is to hopefully prove that the Linux side of computing is not ³scary´ and show that anyone can use Linux. With the evolution of operating systems over time the designers learned they needed to make the installation process simpler. You either had to know what you were doing since the interface was clunky and difficult to follow. And a second time to do a more advanced set up for the operating systems. two different times. First I set up 4 virtual machines. I aim to get rid of the phobias behind its use and show at least one person that even though it is a Windows world. single 3 . there is an more stable alternative that won¶t cost you an arm and leg like most Mac products. The first time will just be a basic setup. Windows 7 and Ubuntu 11. Also they will do program installation and then try to set up a share between another system of the same operating system and then set up a share between the two different operating system. Each with the same specs. or pay someone to do it for you which could be costly. no special install process. For this part of the experiment I had one of my friends install both Linux Ubuntu and Windows 7 She knows how to use Windows when it is actually running but does not know how to re-install it and get it set up. The two operating systems in question are. Now it uses a graphical user interface (GUI) and its pretty straight forward and has advanced options if you need them. As they do this they will fill out a sheet listing any thoughts and comments.In this experiment I will have one person install two different operating systems. and comparisons they have about the two systems. I will have them do it twice because of two different ways of setting up.

She chose to go with the easier to use Live CD option over the other install method that was similar to the Windows installer. all I need to do is 4 . making sure I have all of the drivers. Albeit it pretty much only asks you the same questions as windows. He states ´ On Windows. I say easier because it allows you to boot the operating system without actually installing it and then telling it to install via an icon on the desktop and does not bombard you with as many options as you would have had if you had went with the other method. To be honest I was not surprised by this reaction. it is straight forward and asks very little to get something as complex as an operating system configured to my liking". I do not understand why more people don't use this operating system. it tended to explain what it wanted fully and why it wanted it. After I finished the initial set up of the virtual machine and loaded the international organization for standardization (ISO) image into the virtual CD drive I started the experiment. After a bit of getting used she was actually able to install this operating system with very little help from me. "This install was so easy. In my friends words. First I had her start with the operating system she is familiar with Windows. codecs and other things means going through the process above for all software mentioned individually. almost like it was made for me".core processor. After a bit of guidance from me she said " This is pretty easy to do. This part of the experiment took roughly 45 minutes and no partitions were configured. Before I let her install though. Windows tends to cater to the novice user but also has tools for more advanced configuration such as partitions. Next I got the Linux virtual machine prepared and let her take the wheel. 2 Gigabytes of ram with a 30 Gigabyte hard drive. I told her there are two main ways to install this version of Linux and gave her a bit of information on each method. On Ubuntu. It was straight forward and only asked you for information when it needed it. but this will be covered later. It is so intuitive. Which according to Justin Pot she is right.

and home) to run and that does not include creating a partition for data storage and other things. personally when it comes to partition set up this one will be the more difficult to set up because a novice does not know what all the different partitions Linux needs to run does. I had her start the install and once past the initial easy set up steps she started having issues. and 13Gigabyte data partition. swap. 3 Gigabyte swap 4Gigabyte home. It is developed by people that always are asking the end user questions on how to make it better and easier to use. All in all.(www. this install only took 15 minutes. Now for Linux. She initially had some issues and asked some questions but was able to figure it out for the most part. Her words were "This is a little harder than the easy set up but not too difficult. So after the basic explanation of everything I had her do the advanced install with a 10Gb root. For the most part I agree with her.makeuseof.install a single package: Ubuntu Restricted Extras´.com) And in a sense it was made for her. After she said that I told her she is not out of the woods yet. One is 20 Gigabyte for the operating system and 10 Gigabyte for just programs and documents. She was doing well until it actually came time to set up the partitions. This part of the experiment took 1 hour to complete. 5 . Windows partition set up is very easy to use and easy to customize how you want things set up. Again I started her out with Windows. The partition setup in Linux is a tad more confusing. Linux requires at least 3 partitions (root. There is still setting up partitions. It is not that much harder to do". I explained the benefits of having partitions as well. The easy setup already does this for you. Now after these two installs I decided to make her do the advanced install. This time she was to set up 2 partitions. I don't see why people shy away from creating partitions especially with the benefits it has over not isolating the operating system from the rest of the personal data that most people store on their computers. program installation and setting up sharing.

Going from the easy install to the hard install it is several times harder to get configured". I let her get used to the layout of Ubuntu then told her to install it. For a beginner I can see why they would shy away from Linux. I had her install Photoshop CS4. I did not have a version of Photoshop that is compatible with Linux so I asked her to install GIMP. Not because Linux actually required that long to install but because I had to explain things along the way. I started her out with Windows program installation. It is kind of deceiving. For Ubuntu this was very easy to do. Over all this process took 45 minutes. It was very easy to install this program and get it functioning". Next part of this experiment was program installation. Her words were "I did not 6 . It is a bit intimidating since it requires a bit more thinking to accomplish the more advanced setup of Linux.Ubuntu. Once I got her past that the install went pretty smoothly. very straight forward and easy. She said "The easy install made it seem like this operating system would be easy to install when doing some more advanced stuff. The Ubuntu developers state that there are several differences between Windows and Linux which makes it harder to understand since most people are used to Windows ( My friend said "No surprises here. She had no difficulty at all. I have to agree with her on this.Because you have to set up those 3 main partitions and you have to tell them what type of format to use. It pays off in the end but beginners will be deterred by this surprisingly hard learning curve. It is a free alternative to Photoshop that does work with Linux. She just opened up Ubuntu Software Center and then just searched for GIMP and installed it. it is actually quite the opposite. Auto play came up once it recognized the compact disk and then she began the install process. Now for the program installation part on Linux. With Windows it was pretty straight forward. I just mounted the compact disk to the virtual machine and let her take over.

It is when you want to install a Windows application on Ubuntu that things start getting difficult. Linux was able to see the shares pretty easily and all we had to do was enter the user name and password to connect and access the share. Setting up Linux as the master and Windows as the client was a bit more difficult but took about the same amount of time. The problem is not a lot of people know how to set up sharing between the computers. First I had her set up the master as the Windows machine and Linux as the client. Setting up a share between the Linux systems was a tad more time consuming but in the end we were able to get it set up and working between the two Linux machines. Vaughan-Nichols who says ³Ubuntu's simple Add/Remove Applications the easiest and best way to install programs in Ubuntu. This process took maybe 20 minutes. setting up a share between Linux and Windows.think that program installation could be any easier than the Windows program installation. Especially if they are of two different operating systems. Now for the final part of the experiment. It took roughly 30 minutes. setting up shares. Windows was very easy for her. I am surprised that this was actually easier". First we had to install 7 . Now for the more difficult part of this experiment. This part of the experiment took 40 minutes. Having a media server is a growing trend in the average home user now a day. I had her start by setting up a share between the same operating system first.´(www. I did have to tell her how to do a few things but for the most part it was very quick and painless. It took this long only because the location and set up was a tad different in Linux. This is confirmed by Steven J. This took about 10 minutes to set up a share between two windows Afterwards I explained that not all program installation is this painless but for the most part the installation of programs is just as easy as Windows if not easier. This was pretty easy.

providing an extremely effective storage solution´. Overall the process was pretty painless. Normally this is something I had issues within the past but the developers have came a long way in ease of setup. It was a windows glitch. She said the only reason she did not give Linux a better score than 8 . I doing so I believe that I have shown that Linux is no longer an operating system reserved for those elite Computer users. In this Windows and Mac world we live in its hard to show people how easy and simple Linux is to use. At first the windows machines could not see the shares but I fixed this. (www. The End is in Sight. This program is used to allow operating systems other than Linux to connect to shares originating from Linux. She gave Linux a 7 and Windows an 8.quickonlinetips. No longer is it an operating system that should be feared by the everyday user. If I had known how easy it was I would have done it a long time ago instead of using a flash drive or a compact disk to transfer files between computers". Sadly most normal users fear that setting up shares is hard to do and stick to the old ways. Linux has evolved into an incredibly user friendly operating system. Through this experiment I have taken a normal Windows user and showed them the ways of Linux.SAMBA. In this experiment my test subject stated in just about every test thought that it was as easy if not easier to use than Windows. while still catering to those who want an operating system that is chocked full of features for the advanced user. Amit Bhawani supports this by saying ³File sharing is another such advantage provided by home networking. Her words were "Setting up shares is so easy. In each test I had her grade each process on a scale of 1-10 and then had her grade the operating system as Sharing files over the network is probably the most efficient way to transfer files from one computer to the other. She just had to do a few clicks to get it set up. After that it went just as smooth as the Windows share creation.

She loved the set up of Linux and how it looked and felt.Windows was because of the difficulty she had during the partition creation test. 9 . Do I think she will go out and convert all her machines to Linux? No. but I do think she will think twice when she has to go and re-install Windows again. From my perspective this was a successful attempt to show an everyday user that Linux is the way to go. Or if anything else set up a dual boot system so she can have both worlds.

com/archives/2009/07/home-networking/ Ramesh JHA (2011. Jan 11) The Easy Way to Install Programs in Ubuntu Linux http://www.desktoplinux. (2010.quickonlinetips.04 vs Windows 7 http://blog.html Steven J. April 1).html Amit Bhawani.WORKS CITED Justin Pot. Device Names in Linux 10 . April 30). (2011.sudobits. Vaughan-Nichols.ubuntu.04/installation-guide/i386/device-names. ( (2009. 7 Things That Are Easier To Do In Ubuntu Than In Windows July 28) Benefits of Home Networking http://www.makeuseof. May 9) Ubuntu Ubuntu Development Team.