Introducing friends to GNU/Linux


ur right, im not saying that complex stuffs comes without learning, but that a lotsa things could b much easier/intuitive, without losing the power; and that generally ppl appreciate ease of use more than infinite possibilities.


Micro changes like getting a new phone is easy and interesting. Macro changes like moving operating systems tend to require motivators that incentivize us to carry on even when it was frustrating. As a business owner, when I decided to move our company to an open-source first strategy, it took dumping the dual boot and making a dedicated effort not so much to the OS but to the applications like LibreOffice. That part took some learning through forums and documentation.

For getting new people on board, I like to show off my Librem 13. I carry it with me just about everywhere I go and when someone inquires about what I’ve got, I happily show them how easy it is. And I tell my story. Because a good story about how easy it was to transition, and how most of my challenges were resolved within 15 minutes of searching, instills in others the confidence to make the change themselves.

On an individual level - the biggest barrier to adoption is having a prime mover that forces the decision in the first place. Linux has historically had a challenge in reaching beyond those that are intellectually curious. The current zeitgeist is probably the best thing for Linux on the desktop yet. Yikes. Not the reasons any of us want.

On a technical level - one of the biggest barriers to wide spread adoption is multiple monitor display. The use case of a laptop that plugs into a docking bay is really common. Linux support from Plugable and other vendors falls far short of what the market place expects. The Linux friendly device landscape cannot currently support non-technical people adopting Linux en masse. This is a problem that needs to be solved holistically. Smart people can resolve the issue with proper peripheral choices and some additional ingenuity if necessary. These are competencies that should not be required to set up a small office with Linux as a prime platform. They are not needed with Windows or OS X.


introducing someone to linux also means introducing them to the gnu/linux hacker culture - watch the tv show - “Mr. Robot” first - it clears alot of the hacker culture miths and nonsense floating around in our minds.

the acting is believable and the story and general atmosphere are closely related to the real-world and they manage to do all that while keeping the audience interested.

there are currently 3 seasons (aired) and the fourth one will start airing somewhere in the last quarter of 2019.

be warned that this tv show is not for children and people that have trouble reading between the lines or are not familiar with computers - they will surely miss alot.


Yuno, Those are all valid reasons why to use Linux, and I could add a few more. I have had these sorts of arguments with a number of people over the years, but I can never seem to convince the power users.

Some of them will try Linux, since they are computer geeks, but very few of them keep using it once they discover that something isn´t as good or as easy as what they have already learned how to do in Windows with proprietary software. They will complain that LibreOffice isn´t as good as MS Office, Gimp isn´t as good as PhotoShop, Inkscape isn´t as good as Adobe illustrator, OpenShot/Kdenlive isn´t as good as Premier, and there aren´t enough good games in Linux/Steam. After they watch me spend an hour to get palm detection working on their trackpad or set up dual monitor support, most of them tell me that it isn´t worth the trouble.

I have been using Linux since 1999, so manually editing configuration files and having to search online for how to get the wi-fi to work is no big deal for me, but it is a deal breaker for most Windows users. Linux is so much easier to install than in 1999 when you had to manually set the refresh rates of the monitor just to get X Windows to work, but I still encounter configuration issues almost every time that I install Linux that are beyond the skill/patience of the average Windows user to deal with.

Windows isn’t that easy to install from scratch either, but the PC manufacturers have spent the time to make it easy, whereas they haven’t for Linux, so you have to figure it out. In my experience, most Windows users are perfectly content using Mint and the Cinnamon desktop once I set up the machine for them and answer their questions, but I have never had any luck with Windows power users, no matter how many times I point out the benefits of Linux.


or from time to time take it easy and just call gnu/‘clown world’ and have a good time - also FIND a wise gnu/linux using person

just type
sudo apt install youtube-dl
in terminal before that (so you can right click - “copy link location” and then go in your terminal and just

youtube-dl “paste-here-whatever-the-link-is”

you can also - “man youtube-dl” for more options - it’s really powerful program

youtube uses proprietary javascript and you can’t stream videos online without it so you can’t just use librejs for that

i just think this guy has a down to earth-view-on-things (not only software)


@Corbeau is right. People around you could see how you use easily your linux system.

Other way is to invite your friends to a Software Freedom Day, LibreCon, FLISoL, OpenExpo.

Another way is give a gift to your friends: an usb memory full with Portable Free Software, like those on Linux Software like Evince (for pdf viewing), Gimp, Blender, WinWget, Supertuxkart and others, are available on windows too. So if your friends can use those linux programs on windows, they will have a glimpse of what to do with linux.


Right! Great idea. I showed off the Pure OS “App Store” the other day to a friend. “It’s like iTunes but without having to whip out your credit card” I said as I downloaded GIMP.

“Damn! That’s dope.”

Then came the worry that it wouldn’t hold up with Photoshop. Laid that to rest too. It’s not 2001 anymore. A lot of progress has been made. Real progress. There may never be a “Year of Linux on the Desktop” but incremental change made over time is harder to undo than big bang, flash in the pan changes anyhow.


yes and the best thing is that once it’s copyleft it can’t go copyright unless it’s some weird patent issue and not gpl v3.


Well you still can change the license of your software to proprietary on the next version but you can’t just suddenly decide to take away code from previous free versions.


not if you’re an SPC with a declared public goal you can’t.


Well I was speaking in a more generally way, not in the case of Purism that can’t go against general purpose since it’s a general purpose company.


“The Corporation will release all software written by The Corporation under a free software license.”

That’s the statement in our charter:


in the realm of free software licenses or copyleft not all are created equal. but it is a good thing that they all stand against copyright licenses.

i have yet to see a copyleft that forbids it’s software to be installed on non-free-hardware … at the present moment that would mean a global gag-order - :rofl:


hold my beer X’D

(it says “Post must be at least 20 characters” so now i should be fine :smiley: (with this line, the quote doesnt count :confused: ))


you can right-click and choose “save video as” for offline viewing. don’t be intimidated by the non https in the url bar

because this is 2019 :wink: >

no non-free-javascript as all things should be - simple and painless.


well the best news of october so far is that Mr. Robot started airing again … bad news is that i was hoping to see the L5 as an easter egg somewhere … and i didn’t … so far …