Linux is not Windows

An excellent essay: “Linux is NOT Windows”.

“The biggest cause of friction tends to be in the online interactions: A “3a” user new to Linux asks for help with a problem he’s having. When he doesn’t get that help at what he considers an acceptable rate, he starts complaining and demanding more help. Because that’s what he’s used to doing with paid-for tech support. The problem is that this isn’t paid-for support. This is a bunch of volunteers who are willing to help people with problems out of the goodness of their hearts. The new user has no right to demand anything from them, any more than somebody collecting for charity can demand larger donations from contributors.”

I must remember to point people at this next time they complain about Linux or get arsey because their unpaid volunteers aren’t providing them with hand-holding support.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Linux is not Windows

  1. liquidat

    Hm… not sure if that is a question of Windows vs Linux. If someone is willing to pay money for a support contract, they can get any kind of support for Linux or Open Source in general they want. There are enough companies around providing Linux hand on support.

    So the question is more volunteer vs big money than Windows vs Linux, don’t you think?

  2. rich

    liquidat: Yes, I agree. The issue however is with people who demand that volunteers give them support, aren’t paying for it, and then give us grief about it.

  3. You should also consider that they are overwhelmed and frustrated and most likely feel isolated/alone in trying to figure the problem out.

    This quote feels like retaliatory word meant to “put them in their place” rather than actually understanding the problem.

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