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CNET News.com: Linux is Too Much

Dec 20, 2000, 14:05 (59 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Todd Volz)

"Too much ain't enough" was the motto of the Lone Star Cafe, a long-gone New York City night spot. And the phrase could just as easily be the ethos of Linux distribution vendors. But big Linux distributions packed with thousands of apps are likely to leave the average desktop user dazed and confused."

"I wonder whether Linux as we know it today is really suited for widespread desktop use. Sure, I think Linux is great, and the X Window System does much to make Linux more attractive, especially when running with a desktop environment such as GNOME or KDE. But in its current state, Linux is just too much."

"First of all, Linux is too bountiful for most computer users. A typical Linux distribution comes with a daunting number of applications; for instance, the Linux-Mandrake Download Edition, which I just downloaded and installed, includes more than a thousand applications. That may sound like a lot, but it's small change compared to the enormous number of programs supplied with Debian or SuSE. Most nontechnical users will never use most of these apps. Does the average user really need a bunch of terminal apps, several hex editors, a mail and Web server, and a bevy of compilers? Heck, the average developer doesn't even need all that. "

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