Is linux user friendly?

Published:
Wednesday 7th of July 2021


Reading Time:
5 minutes

With the announcement of Windows 11 and its daft pre-requisites i finally decided to switch my main system to Linux without the dual boot and say goodbye to Windows for good.

A few friends have said "Linux is complicated", "It's not user friendly", "You can't do anything normal with it!"... and after thinking it through i couldn't disagree more! But before we get there, lets roll it back a bit and look at Windows 11

Windows 11 - The final curtain?

Well the new Windows requirements are a bit over the top if you ask me, and even some newer machines will struggle...

So it's worth mentioning the new System Requirements:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
  • RAM: 4gb
  • Storage: 64gb or above
  • TPM: Version 2.0 (Required, il discuss this more later)
  • Graphics Card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
  • Internet Connections: Again this is REQUIRED if you have Windows 11 Home... Windows 11 Pro can get past this for initial setup. but for the average user who will have Home... you need it.

On the Surface most people will be looking at this thinking "what's the big deal, it's not that hefty a spec?" which is true but..... and its a big BUT.

TPM 2.0 isn't on a lot of machines including one of my newer laptops (about 3 years old) meaning end users will need to REPLACE hardware in order to use Windows 11.

Also Microsoft are only going to officially support AMD Ryzen 2000 and higher chip-sets... so if you have anything older... it's not guaranteed to work... Yikes.....

And finally... not a deal breaker for all... but not something im into, But if you have Windows 11 Home you are required to have an internet connection and use a Microsoft account or register a new one if you don't already have one....

I know a lot of people who have said they will be "Jumping Ship" to macOS or Linux in the coming months / year as there PC's and Laptops won't be able to run the new Windows 11...

The two options for most people are Linux or macOS

Ubuntu

Ubuntu is probably the most well known Distro for everyday use it has a HUGE community and amazing documentation on its site, But is it user friendly? I think a comment on Twitter summed it up for me last week;

Linux is definitely User Friendly..... it's just not idiot friendly

and this is completely true, i mean we could go back MANY years to find a version of linux that was both a nightmare to use and also difficult to install for your average user.... but in modern day it's just not the case.

Have a look at the below movie as an example, this is a start to finish installation of the desktop in a virtual box.

The desktop itself has everything you need to get browsing the new and doing the things your average user needs, and with popularity of the OS getting bigger and bigger there is more and more support for newer applications and features.

Office doesn't work with Linux!

Correct! however O365 will..... and also if you want a local word processor you have Libre Office... not quite Microsoft Word... but does the job.

With Ubuntu when you first login after the install you get a "getting started" popup which will give the average user a nudge in the right direction for learning how to use the OS.

The "App store" on Linux is also single click installs for most software which in some cases is actually easier than Windows...

The hardest bit about Ubuntu is the media creation for the install itself i think and even saying that is hard is pushing it. You can use Etcher for Mac or Rufus for Windows to Create the install media;

  • Download ISO from Ubuntu website
  • Select ISO in Etcher/Rufus
  • Select USB Flash Drive
  • Click Make Bootable Drive/Flash Drive

and thats it!

macOS

People are usually on the fence with Apple Computers, a bit like Marmite, people love them or hate them.... and for a LONG time i hated them and then..... my wife bought me one and i now have a newfound respect for Apple Products... Yes they are pricey but they last and they are fantastic for development work.

For standard users they are even better.... macOS is near impossible to break or do something wrong, the OS experience is incredible and most people can do everything they need out of the box.

Another good thing about Apple is the OS, its almost seen as a service that gets updated for free every so often because you simply own a Mac of some sort.

If you have the money and don't want to stick with Windows and your what id call "a generic user".... someone who isn't in it for development or gaming but need a computer, a mac or macbook is the way forward.

The Apple support in most part are incredible, I've only ever had one issue with Apple support and after a letter of complaint my issue was sorted within the Month. (Which came in the form of a brand new iMac 5k )

Conclusion (For me)

So, im extremely fortunate that i can go with both Mac and Linux (i actually now use Pop!_OS.... a Distro i slated a few months back) and i'll be sticking with that setup for the considerable future. my friends have said to me "But what about gaming" and to that my response is i don't really play games any more and when i do, i use my Sons Xbox and play some Tony Hawks Pro Skater :P, so other than that.... there nothing else i need Windows for.....

If you strapped for Cash go with Ubuntu, it really is incredible and for the average user is spot on, if you can splash out a bit or pay monthly get a Mac.... i'll be upgrading my iMac to a macbook pro at the end of this year with the potential release of the 16" M2 macbooks...