Pick a Free OS

My Linux wish list

If I think of arguing about how could Linux installations get simpler then I might as well rest my case. I say this for the simple reason that most Linux distributions today offer the end user a very simple `click, click, click' GUI interface to handle the complete installation procedure, which in most cases outperforms the Microsoft installer. I'll explain.

I recently realized that if I had to be a good Linux consultant, it was imperative that I knew exactly what my competitor had to offer. And who else to turn to than my old Linux box? I thrashed all my Linux partitions (RedHat and SuSE) and began with a fresh installation of Windows. Installing Windows95 was a breeze, but Windows 2000 Professional was a pain. The machine on which Windows95 installs and runs smoothly, one would expect the same from Windows 2000. But I was in for a surprise. Whenever I tried starting the installation/upgrade from Windows95, the installation process would freeze. And as I re-booted the machine to continue with the installation my machine went for a toss!

After many such unsuccessful attempts at installing the darn Operating System, I finally managed to get it going. During this whole process I had to reboot the machine a minimum of two times for a complete install. In comparison to the Microsoft installer, the RedHat installer doesn't require any reboots and detects my hardware just as fine. But I guess all's not well after that in comparison of Linux and Windows on the desktop. Despite all its strengths Linux fails to address the unified desktop interface that has to be in place for it get on the desktop.

For instance, suppose a user wants to change the resolution. How many distributions have the option of providing the user the power of changing screen resolutions without expecting him/her to go to the CLI (Command Line Interface). Or suppose a user wants to transfer a file from one Linux machine to another. Can we expect the user to go to the command line and use the arcane smblclient or mount command to mount remote filesystems for use locally? How many distributions have managed to address these issues and been successful in integrating the whole concept onto the desktop?