Is Linux Community Biased

I was intrigued to think whether Linux community or people who claim to be so-called promoters of open source are biased or they are just too passionate about Linux that they do not like anybody talk something about it that does not showcase it as a prized discovery? After some experiences on writing some posts about Linux and trying my hands on this system, I came to conclude two points:

1. Linux is a cool operating system and I will use it for all my systems.
2. Linux community is a biased system.

What made me make this impression was the reaction of readers who came to read my previous post. The post was titled “5 Things that don’t work in Ubuntu”. This post was meant to provide newbies about what they won’t find in Ubuntu just like they do in Windows. I listed 5 things and some of the reactions in the comment sections included:

Comment 1
Let me see:

1) I hate this feature. I don’t mind.
If I want to scroll, that’s what the wheel on my mouse is for.

2) It takes ONE CLICK to shutdown my Ubuntu system.
**One single click**
And I do get the options to reboot or hibernate with an additional click.

3) Screensaver settings are in the settings menu. WTF ?

4) Wrong. You *can* change the DPI.

5) Wrong. Just right-clic on any menu item, and choose “Add this launcher to desktop”. Tadaaa ! You have the icon on the desktop.

Comment 2

What a tragic list of problems (most fake, as other people pointed out)!
Much better to get used to Blue Screen Of Death, Viruses, Spyware, End-User-License-Agreement, etc etc !
I will immediately BUY a Windows license !

Comment 3

Whether these points are valid is discussed above, however why do you expect Linux to work just like Windows? Does Mac work in the same way?

Comment 4

this list is stupid.

and ubuntu isn’t ALL you have in Linux

It’s like – don’t be a human because he/she do not know how to swim.

grow up and get a life.

Comment 5

“I was just relating what does not work in Ubuntu just like Windows.”

If you want something that works exactly as Windows, use Windows.

I first decided to not comment but the above response was just too hilarious to not trigger some action. You have to understand the nuances of a language otherwise it all ends miserably. Title says “don’t work in Ubuntu” which automatically will deliver the message that Ubuntu is flawed. If you actually want to inform about differences then the title should tell readers about “differences” and even better explain how task X in Windows is done in Ubuntu. Otherwise what’s the point?


PS. A click on the scroll wheel in Linux is by standard used as paste. Very convenient especially since some applications in Linux automatically copy a marked section. Save you a lot of unnecessary clicking. By the way, for fast scrolling in a browser why not use the “Page Up” and “Page Down” buttons on the keyboard? DS.

Comment 6

Ad 1) You can enable middle-click triggered scrolling in Firefox on Ubuntu (Edit->Preferences->Advanced->check autoscrolling & smooth scrolling under Browsing).
Ad 2) You can launch shutdown dialog via keyboard shortcuts in Ubuntu by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete (following options available: Shut Down, Restart, Suspend, Hibernate)
Ad 3) Screensaver settings are in System->Preferences->Screensaver. But I have to admit that leaving message for others is a bit cumbersome – it craves exchanging gnome-screensaver with xscreensaver. On the other hand – others can leave messages for you if the screen will be locked.
Ad 4) & ad 5) Good advices by @sebsauvage.

And, of course, Vivek – you are right. Ubuntu is not working the same as Windows because after all it is not Windows… We do not expect that Mac will work as Windows neither, do we?
Shortly speaking, changing OS requires a bit of adjustment.
Wishing you a very good day.
Hanna 🙂

Comment 7

Dear Sir, Keep in mind:-

That Linux is not and can never be a windows substitute.

As has been explained above, the functionality you seek are available in one form or another.

Do not be put off by the strong rebuff, instead keep using Ubuntu + try out other distributions as well.

Use Linux where it add value, and likewise use Windows where it does.

Oh, and take time to get the know the system without thinking of Windows.

Cheers !!

Comment 8

“However, my main intention is to inform and educate new users of Ubuntu about what to expect while they try their hands on Ubuntu.”

Shouldn’t your tone be neutral then and your information accurate? The way its written, it reads like windows is the gold standard and Ubuntu doesn’t live up to that standard. Plus your info is outdated, as demonstrated by sebsauvage.

Comment 9

You said: “here are five such more things that you won’t find working in Ubuntu”

You are basically saying that these thing don’t work in Ubuntu, which is plain wrong.
They *DO* work, but differently.

Your title is also misleading.
You said: “here are five such more things that you won’t find working in Ubuntu” You are basically saying that these thing don’t work in Ubuntu, which is plain wrong. They *DO* work, but differently. Your title is also misleading.

Comment 10

Don’t be put off by the harsh comments Vivek.

I thought there was no ‘autoscrolling’ in Linux Firefox until I read this column – So thanks, I’ve learnt another thing today…
Don’t be put off by the harsh comments Vivek. I thought there was no ‘autoscrolling’ in Linux Firefox until I read this column – So thanks, I’ve learnt another thing today…

Comment 11

Stay away from Linux.
You’re not ready for it.

Comment 12

I can appreciate what you are trying to acomplish here and if people had seen any of your other articles they may have been less critical.

What you have provided here is indeed a list of things that are different about ubuntu and windows, but the title of this post says these are things that ubuntu can’t do. As has been pointed out this is clearly not the case. In future you may want to do a little more research and provide more detail about how things CAN be achived under ubuntu/linux, I’m sure your readership would be most appriciative.

To those commenters who felt the need to attack the author I would say that the content and tone of YOUR remarks is far more damaging to ubuntu/linux than that of the post itself please try to remember that we are a community. Instead of ridiculing those who may be un/missinformed why not try to help like sebsauvage and Hanna.

Comment 13

I think, what you have done here, is shot yourself in the foot. and for all there are several learning options here.

the first, is that Gnome is not Windows, i say gnome, because the Ubuntu points you raised, are actually gnome differences.

The second is, the flame.. you are going to get some nit picker out there, flaming you with thier opinion, in the manner above, when you type anything like the post you have above. Good greif, Linux writes a blog entry, and people tell him he is wrong. What i’d suggest is not trying to defend your article, or the way you have written it. Its an opinion, if they can’t see it, then so be it (just as i’m sure some smart bugger is going to nit pick this response, even if they don’t post it here)

Finally, when you do a comparison, i would concur, if you want to educate, tell people how to shutdown in Ubuntu, and why its different.

Comment 14

Good attitude Vivek! I’m sorry if my first response seems harsh, but there are so many articles published these days that intentionally are designed to give a wrong impression about Linux and hence your article, even though unintentionally, triggers a harder response than necessary.

Anyway make a follow up article about it and how you achieve the same features, if that’s what the user wants. therealdavidfield also made a valid point about it being Gnome and not Ubuntu specific. The Internet is full of “tips & tricks” for Windows so it’s a good thing you’ve got the will and energy to contribute in a likewise manner regarding Linux.

Comment 15

The most moronic article I have ever read.

Comment 16

this is not the first article where you were corrected. maybe you should think about doing some (more) investigation in these simple things before assuming they just don’t work.

the only valid points in your post are the screensaver thingy, which doesn’t bother me at all, since i don’t use a screensaver. instead, the option to leave messages is very handy IMO. the second point is by definition the alt+f4 shortcut, which you can easily simulate with various methods, gnome has its own keyboard-shortcut feature where you can define custom shortcuts besides the predefined.

and after it has being pointed out to you, don’t you think you should correct or at least comment your post?

Comment 17

5 Things that Don’t Work in Ubuntu

is still the title of your post, and this just IS NOT TRUE. we have identified that at least 3 of your 5 things work in ubuntu, it was just your ignorance that let you believe that these wouldn’t work. what you write is just wrong, if you don’t have the claim to “not write bullshit” on your homepage then don’t correct it. IMO the learning effect for linux newbies could be better if they were able to recognize your mistakes, and maybe even see how you solved your problems (reading documentation or whatever). not everybody reads the comments all the way down.

if you want to point out the difference then do it, but do not title your post “things that don’t work in ubuntu”, because they DO WORK. call it “5 things i am too dumb to do in ubuntu”, then it is true again.

as soon as i find out how to register on (where this article was linked) i will ask them not to link your articles anymore, your work is not good for the linux community in any way.

and this is not about opinion, there are 3 statements that are just wrong, no but and no except. it has been proven to you with screenshots, and you still refuse to correct what you wrote, and this is just plain ignorance.

Comment 18

“you even do not know what language you should write while posting a comment.”

i have no idea what you mean by that. i am writing english, since i’m not a native speaker it might be a little rough, but i think everybody gets it.

i am for sure no expert, and i don’t want every old post to be edited, don’t start bullshitting me. but this is not every and not an old post, your errors have been pointed out to you short after you wrote that post (no time on the post so can’t tell exactly), and still you insist on propagating those false pretences. that is weak, and i can not see an intention in your behaviour. you say you want to help newbies, this is doing the opposite.

do whatever you want dude, this blog is done for me.

My Reaction to these comments

1. The readers who commented and termed the post as moronic one just took these words “don’t work”. They did not see that I did not write “never work”.

2. The things listed do not work like Windows and I mentioned in the start that the listed things won’t work just like Windows meaning it could be different.

3. Many of them commented that I should not try Linux, but I was talking about only one distro–Ubuntu and not all the system.

4. Even while agreeing that users will have to make changes and settings, commentators insisted that these things do work just like Windows.

5. I must mention here that more than 100 visitors clicked the links provided for solutions. Does it not show that they also wanted to know how to make these work? It means they agreed with my points.

6. Even while agreeing on some points, some of them said that I was wrong on all the points.

I was a sort of perplexed by this reaction and can’t think why people who support Linux do not consider what language are they reading. If you write about Ubuntu, does it mean about the whole Linux? I have clearly written that this list contains dissimilarities in Ubuntu and Windows and still they insisted that I said “these things will never work in Ubuntu” and that this post “is giving wrong impression of Ubuntu”. How?

I am not here to defend my post but completely puzzled how a community can thrive that does not have any common sense and how to talk to a fellow member. I was surely a very surprised by the biased nature of Linux community.

But all this experience is not going to make me feel averse to using Linux or not writing about it in future. The only thing that I will do is make my posts more clear but I expect that Linux community would take more care while reading what words are used and what words they should use.

P.S.: I made a typo error in my post but corrected it after the first comment posted pointed it out. Here is what it said:

2. It is alt+F4
3. But you can change the theme very easily with right-click. In Windows most themes I downloaded in the past did not work…
5. The Menu being called “Start Menu” is just retarted. In order to Shut Down you must go to Start??? Anyway, you can drag & drop. Also the Windows “Start Menu” is totally unintuitive and cluttered. Why do I need to have a separate folder for each application in “Start Menu” instead of only its launcher entry? Linux menus are far superior as they divide programs into categories.

Of course, the comment poster was agreeing on some of the points and was not imposing his opinions on me.

9 thoughts on “Is Linux Community Biased”

  1. Hey, don’t listen too much to comments like that. I use Ubuntu for a while now and found the community to be really kind and helpful. I guess you’ll always find people who bash on other OS no matter what they are using.
    And yes, there is still some things in handling I liked about Windows. Not enough to leave that OS on my machines though…
    Keep using Ubuntu and you’ll find a really great community (I can tell the same about other distros I tried too).

  2. What would possess you to think people wouldn’t have a bias or lean toward something they like? It’s human nature.

    When there is an item you like, and someone criticizes it, or think that someone is criticizing it, the first reaction is to defend your reasons for liking it.

    One thing you could do to prevent some of the knee-jerk reactions like that is to specify your target audience more clearly.

    In the opening paragraph, you could say that the article is for people who have never tried Ubuntu and are considering it after deciding they want to ditch another OS.

    That will help to alleviate readers thinking you are trying to tell the whole world there is something wrong with their choice, especially if they are an experienced Linux user and already know the ways that it works.

    Lastly, don’t be thin-skinned. The Linux community overall is full of “do-it-yourself” types of people who believe in pulling on your boots and getting to work. Most complaints are viewed as whining and people looking for someone to do things for them.

    You can say that’s good or bad, but it is what happens, more often than not.

  3. Answer: I’m biased, you’re biased, we’re all biased.

    I’m surprised you choose to put focus on comments instead of doing a useful follow up article. I doubt this is the preferable path to choose. You have to accept that the article in question was a bit unfortunate, maybe not what concerns the intention but the wording. Remember that your intention hardly ever comes through in plain text.

    I commended you for your attitude in dealing with some of the comments, but then you need to stop taking it personal. Just drop it and go on, improve. Dragging old mistakes in an attempt to make them look better accomplish little.

    I wish you good luck!

  4. Hi vivek.
    Told ya. Try a few different distros.
    There is a minority in the ubuntu community that don’t like criticism and they are also the most outspoken. Unfortunately they p off a lot of Linux users.
    I honestly doubt if the ubuntu forums would give you this grief and also most other distro forums. I respect you that you admit to any mistakes in your blogs and give speedy replies. when I responded to one of your blogs, you came back and owned up to the error. That is good. We all have to learn Linux but a lot of us learned pre blog days.
    By the way. I’m an ex TEFL teacher. You don’t have that many mistakes. Don’t worry about the language but go out and try some other linux distro live cds and then decide.

  5. Vivek, you have done a great job in explaining ubuntu linux to the newbies. Now, let’s get something clear: It is human nature to judge without giving something (or someone a chance). And secondly, some people are too lazy to learn. In personal experience, I have had someone come to me to learn music editing and production (which is outside my field). All I told him was, go to and watch some educational videos, download the program and you will get it. Yet the response is, “I don’t have the time” and these same people are the ones who will spend hours and hours on youtube, watching music videos. My point, not everyone have the discipline to learn something and yet, they will draw conclusions on how bad a product or new technology is.

    To draw a conclusion, your sweet reviews of ubuntu linux will fall on the deaf ears of those who make up their minds that windows is the best OS. I would say, they will learn how good Ubuntu is…. the hard way – after a virus infects their systems or their computer crashes.
    – Keep up the good work Vivek!

    Imo Ekpo

  6. Yes, Linux communities are biased. So are Windows and Apple communities. Bias is not always a bad thing… more of a preference. As far as the comments are concerned, well, how can I put this? I’ve been in IT for 15 years and I have realized that people that are usually more technically prone … well, in many cases don’t have the best people skills. I’m not saying this is good or bad, it can be either or both. They usually just have their focus and it usually isn’t on being “PC”.
    To take the tones lightly, and make the most of the communities. I’m a newbie to Linux myself, presently trying Suse. I hope to learn a lot from the mass of Linux geniuses here.

  7. Damn skippy linux users are biased! Even more so with admin. It works… Ubuntu works out of the box at a very simple level. A reason those who’ve worked with other distributions for a time choose it. A reason they also choose it for their kids, and spouses. Debian. It’s also vastly less expensive than keeping up with more mainstream operating systems and productivity suites. If you don’t have corporate buy-in because your management is a slave to marketing… then you are stuck. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy working with Microsoft operating systems as well… but I appreciate the flexibility of many more.

  8. If any form of Linux was decent, Microsoft would’ve bought it out or stole it; as it is; I guess they’ll just have to feel so threatened by Linux whilst holding their 94% share of the market close to them to make them feel secure, wait a minute, they own 94% of the market, so unless you hate democracy, (in which case, piss off back to Afghanistan), then it means that people are smart enough to use something which more than 20 people develop for.

  9. @Grenton
    So…only 20 people develop THOUSANDS of Linux Distros? Wowwww. That sounds like torture. Try hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of people.

    To the writer of the article: EVERY tech community is biased in some way. Windows users say everything else is shit, Mac users do the same, as do many linux users. It’s the way things are.

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