[Gentoo] Conversations with a new Linux user

I’ve been organizing weekly lunches for my on-campus LUG. Yesterday at the Soup Shop, I got an opportunity to talk to a new Linux user who had just switched his desktop over from Windows. Why now, you ask? “Finally, everything just works.”

He’d known of Linux for years and had even tried it a few times, but like most users, he wasn’t closely enough tied to it to use it without all his programs and peripherals working perfectly. The “little things” like MP3 players and printers played a big role in deciding whether Linux was ready. Which distro? Ubuntu. The same one I’d recommend to new Linux users right now. When he wanted to get music working, he Googled it and the top result was the “Unofficial Ubuntu Starter Guide,” which describes how to use “Easy Ubuntu” to get MP3 and so forth working.

This is the same thing Steve O’Grady just blogged about — things need to “just work.” This includes restricted formats such as Flash, Java browser plugins and MP3’s, if Linux is to gain adoption by people without a philosophical attachment to it.

I can safely say that the “Linux desktop” is ready. But the “Linux laptop”? Not yet.