This morning I noticed two interesting perspectives on using Linux on the desktop. They were not interesting to me because they were unique, but because I have seen both perspectives played out dozens of times in the past. The first is the techie who has heard so much about Linux and is now enthusiastically ready to give it a try. The second is the frustrated, formerly-brilliant techie who has tried to set up a Linux desktop and grown weary of dealing with error messages and non-functional peripherals and/or applications.
The first perspective is represented in the thread "Newbie on the Linux front" — one of the most popular discussion threads in the TechRepublic Forums right now. The second can be seen in the recent blog post "Why does Linux hate me" by my ZDNet colleague Ed Bott.
These two perspectives obviously represent opposites ends of the spectrum. However, I've even seen both scenarios play out from the same IT professional. My fellow TechRepublic blogger (and buddy) Steven Warren wrote the "10 things I love about Linux" on November 8, 2005, and then followed it up with "Giving up on Linux and going back to Windows" less than two months later on January 6, 2006.
Since these are common themes, I'd like to share a set of TechRepublic resources that can be helpful for other Linux newbies, potential Linux converts, and even Linux malcontents.
- 10 things you should know about every Linux installation
- 10 things you should do to prepare a new Linux installation
- 10 things you should do to a new Linux PC before exposing it to the Internet
- Linux 101: How to set up Linux on a PC
- Linux 101: Installing Debian GNU/Linux
- Linux 101: Use Knoppix to resize partitions for dual-boot installs
- Linux 101: Making manpages work for you
- Linux 101: A comprehensive list of available Linux services
- Demystifying the Linux operating system
Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.