Wednesday, June 8, 2011

5 Types of Linux users

1. The "Superior" users
They believe that yes, using Linux does make them superior human beings, and anyone caught using Windows or anything else might as well be a monkey flinging poo. Furthermore, most of them use distros like Gentoo or Arch and also look down on any other distro, especially "kiddie" ones like Ubuntu or Mint. They talk constantly about how much how great their Linux machine is, but they could give a rat's ass if Linux ever actually grew in market share. (In fact, many of them don't want it to.) They are completely content using a niche platform and will gladly let you know that they are superior to you.
2. The "My way is best" users
Somewhat less in-your-face than Superior users, these believe that freedom is great....but their way is the best. While they claim to love the plethora of apps and distros out there, any one that diverges from their personal preference is deserving of rejection. They will criticize you if you suggest an app that they don't like or a framework or runtime or anything that does not strike their fancy. Most of the time, the extent of their argument is "This app is better than that app" or "That app sucks." Most of the time, these are power users that believe that every Linux user should also be a power user, otherwise, they should "just go back to Windows." When it is revealed that their way has a problem (whether it be with an app, a distro, or Linux as a whole), the normal response is "If you don't like it, don't use it," rather than acknowledging that a fix is required. In the end, their unspoken motto is "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion....but you're wrong."
3. The fresh converts (AKA newbs)
For what is Linux without newbs? Not that this is a bad thing at all, for everyone was once a Linux newb....except maybe Linus Torvalds. As Linux grows in popularity, more and more people are discovering Linux and trying it out. While this group itself does not necessarily contribute to the "face" of Linux, per se, it does reveal how the other groups react to users trying to adapt to a new Operating System; most of them are "If you don't like it, go back to Windows" or the even more classic "RTFM."
4. The Freedom Fighters
It's not enough that Linux is free, it has to be open source, so they forbid anyone using applications like Skype. But more than that, they believe that Microsoft is the corporate manifestation of the devil himself and that anyone that is even seen with them is damned to eternal torment, so the Mono project is not allowed. But even moreso, the Linux kernel is not allowed to have anything but 100% open source free (libre) code in it and Linus Torvalds is an evil, evil man for allowing proprietary binaries to get into the kernel. They believe that anything other than Linux or BSD is slavery, even for those that rarely use a computer. Overall, the Freedom Fighters have very high standards of what "freedom" means to them, which is acceptable, until they try to start shoving it down everyone else's throats.
5. The Rest
The quiet, well-behaved community that just enjoys using Linux as an Operating System. Some are dedicated enough to write blogs or podcasts about Linux and others merely use it on their computer day to day, but in the end they all want it to genuinely feel like a Linux community.They know that Linux has its faults, but they still want to see it get better. They like the variety of apps and distros because it means that not everyone has to like the same one, and while they might have biases or opinions toward one choice or the other, they respect the right that other users have their own biases and opinions as well. They believe that the goal of the diversity in the Linux world is not trying to see what choice is "best", but trying to motivate and force each option to be the best that it can be, all the while giving enough alternatives to make everyone happy. If the circumstances allow it, they might suggest using Linux to a family member, friend, or coworker, not in hopes that they would take money away from the big bad corporations, but instead that the other party might see an optional alternative, one that excels in many different ways. But in the end, they know that "Linux is freedom" but believe that freedom should not be forced on people.

(There are "Linux Evangelists" of all types: from the "Superior" users that go out of their way to brag about their Linux setup to the peaceful "Rest" user that casually suggests it in conversation. Each has their own agenda that they push along with Linux.)

[/bias] Leave your thoughts. Unless you disagree with me, because then you are wrong. :P

1 comment:

  1. Just a little note on "everyone was a linux newb", um, not really. Coming from UNIX makes for an easy transition. And to be sure, coming from DOS and BASIC (my route) the beauty of the CLI in Linux, UNIX, or BSD is obvious and makes me want to learn more about the setup.

    Yes, there are those that are gonna hate anyone like them, but that happens in every hobby/sport/etc but I tend to think that Linux people fall into the categories of weekend-warriors(dual boot), whiners(this doesn't work, fix it for me cause I can't do a google search and learn it myself), norms(get the internet working, maybe GIMP and office and they are good), average users (know their way around the CLI and always trying to learn more and get "better"), power-users(people that know their stuff), and gurus(If you haven't compiled your own kernel from source, then you can't understand where these guys are at).

    Somewhere in there you could also just divi it into happy, content, whiny, or going back to windows/mac/UNIX.

    Biggest thought here though, don't worry about what everyone else is doing with linux, do YOUR thing cause it's YOUR operating system, make it what you want, and yes, it's all in the manual.