[lug] linux distro for a beginner

Daniel Webb lists at danielwebb.us
Wed Jun 15 15:02:20 MDT 2005

On Wed, Jun 15, 2005 at 02:47:17PM -0600, Hugh Brown wrote:

> As I discuss what I do by day (linux sysadmin) with folks and complain
> about windows periodically, I sometimes get asked which Linux distribution
> I recommend for someone who wants to get started with Linux but doesn't
> want to be their own sysadmin.  So far, I've been telling them to get a
> Mac.

I've been asked this and also tell people to get a Mac.  One person paid me to
do everything involved with setting up a computer, and she's completely
satisfied with her Mac mini.  I don't think that would have been the case with
any flavor of Linux, and she wasn't happy with Windows either.  I'm a
pro-Linux snob, by the way, and don't even own a Mac.

I think there's a huge commercial opportunity to bundle internet access and
sysadmin service for the majority of users who want basic functionality (web
surfing, email, word processing, photos), but don't want to mess with all the
things that break with Windows and Linux.  It would be tough to get the costs
down enough to make money, though.  It seems like it could only work if you
stripped down the capabilities a lot to keep the tech support to a minimum.
Linux would make a lot more sense than Windows for this kind of thing thanks
to its easy scriptability, package systems, better security, and freeness.

I've never heard of a venture like this aimed at consumers, has it ever been

One of the main obstacles I would guess would be consumer trust, since you
have admin access on their machine.  I doubt this would ever take off if
Microsoft tried it, for example.  Google, on the other hand...  I'd be
extremely surprised if Google's not evaluating something like this right now.

More information about the LUG mailing list