>Choices

1:44 PM

>I've been noticing a major problem lately every where I go - people sending Linux newbies straight to the command line for things that can just as easily be done via the GUI. The problem with this is it just manages to keep the image of everything having to be done via the command line in Linux when that simply just isn't all that true any more *at least with some distros*. It also helps to further intimidate someone that's having a hard enough time with the learning curve as it is.

People in the forums of distros touted as being easy ESPECIALLY need to watch this kind of behavior. People don't try the easy distros because they can't wait to get waist deep in the command line. They want something "easy" i.e. GUI, see-and-click based.

You'll often hear talk of "well, they need to be broken of their intimidation of the command line as soon as possible." This reasoning is just wrong... if you take an intimidated person and throw them into the thing that intimidates them, and something goes wrong *which is highly likely with someone who's already intimidated by it*, they're likely to never go back again. Trust me, they'll approach it in their own time - and even if they don't - most of the major distros now are GUI based enough that they won't actually ever need to.

Don't yell at them for reinstalling the operating system when something goes wrong, either. Believe it or not, it's *not* a bad thing, especially for someone who's used to reinstalling Windows and losing all their system settings and possibly personal files. I reinstalled quite a bit myself starting out partially because I didn't understand the operating system yet and wanted to understand it better before I tried fixing it and partially because I honestly loved reinstalling it - not losing any settings or files is a big deal to someone used to losing everything on a reinstall. This is not Windows - a reinstall isn't the end of the world as we know it.

The thing is, Linux is becoming more and more fit for the home desktop - and as such, people need to realize that their geek OS is now gaining a softer side and embrace it, or at least allow others to embrace it.

Does this mean you should only recommend GUI methods for everything? No, of course not. There certainly are things that are easier via the command line that people may not be aware of. But you should always offer the GUI method alongside it in case they don't want to try the command line.

Remember that Linux is about freedom in choice, and allow others to have that freedom, even if their choices are different from yours.

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