A Reddit user recently started a thread in which they asked which myths and misconceptions about Linux annoy users the most.
The post spawned a lively discussion with points being raised for and against Linux.
The prominent myths raised in the Reddit thread, along with several which have been doing the rounds for a while, are listed below.
Linux is developed by volunteer programmers
This creates the impression that Linux distributions are not high-quality software, which is not true.
While there are many developers who work on free and open source software in their own time, there are many developers working on Linux who do so professionally.
Linux is unsupported
When this myth is brought up, it feels like a catch-all for the idea that human resources focussed on Linux are rare and costly.
If you’re looking for professional third-party support, companies like Canonical, Red Hat, and SUSE are available.
You must do everything in the command line
Many Linux users prefer the command line for certain tasks, but popular distributions are built around graphical desktop environments.
Software such as web browsers, image editors, video and music players, and office suites work in much the same way as on Windows and MacOS.
Linux is only free if your time has no value
This quote from Jamie Zawinski dates back to 1998.
Linux distributions have become much easier to install and update since then.
Linux is for everyone
Just because Linux can address an array of home and corporate needs does not mean it’s for everyone.
Sometimes it’s a matter of preference, software support, or business realities – but a Linux distribution is not necessarily the best operating system in every situation.
Linux sucks for gaming
While Windows is certainly the path of least resistance when it comes to PC gaming, playing video games on Linux is not the mess it once was.
Thanks to support from companies like Valve, the number of titles available on Linux has exploded.
Linux is difficult to use
Whether switching from Windows to OS X, or Windows to a Linux distribution like Ubuntu or Fedora Core, the learning curve is roughly the same.
Lack of accessibility tools
In the Reddit thread, Linux users with disabilities detailed their experiences using the visual features available in distributions to assist people with impaired vision.
However, for those who require a text-to-speech converter, Linux does not have tools available.
“This is the year of the Linux desktop”
This line is a joke mocking Linux proponents who believe that Linux distributions will overtake Windows as the dominant desktop PC platform.
Despite Linux’s failure to unseat Windows, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth closed the distribution’s Bug 1 in 2013 – “Microsoft has a majority market share”.
The argument is that with the rise of smartphones, desktop operating system market share has become less relevant. Android, a Linux-based operating system, is the most popular smartphone platform in the world.