I have been running a course to introduce new users to Linux for almost a year. These are my observations.

  • New users feel intimidated by the plethora of methods to install software.
  • There is no central easy interface for them to use to add a printer, add a modem, add a camera, add a usb stick, add a sound card, etc.. Yast with SUSE does this very well. Can Yast be incorporated in Ubuntu ?
  • I have had some requests to setup a server. Normally I reccomend Debian stable with the Webmin interface. Can Ubuntu make Webmin standard for the server version to help new admins get going faster ?
  • I have had some queries about Linux in small business. The problem is lack of applications. Can Ubuntu incorporate a Point-of-Sale system such as nTPV which integrates with say Pastel ?
  • Now the thorny part. The look and feel of the desktop. New users are more comfortable with icons and buttons looking like XP. Can an XP theme be used a default option on Gnome for Ubuntu ?
  • I have observed users that are new to GNOME have had trouble figuring out that clicking on "Applications" brought up a menu. This can be solved by making the application, places, and system menu look "clickable"
  • Gnome is a fair bit slower and more resource intensive than XP's explorer. Users will find it pointless to switch if they have to deal with a sluggish system. ie. Gnome is sluggish on my pentium III 800mhz 300MB -- Jesse McNelis

  • On the other hand, some users I've met de like Gnome better than WinXP. But most users I've seen however seem to like KDE's looks best. I think the key is good documentation, introduction video or similar. Users are very confused until they learn the basics (installing applications and hardware, running day-to-day tasks), but once they understand how the basic system works everything goes significantly smoother. -- OttoKek√§l√§inen 2006-01-13 21:07:37


Basically Linux must be easier to install and setup. And it must not look unfamiliar. See:

  • I agree with most of this. I am running Ubuntu on my laptop along side XP, and the first thing that confused me was the big difference in apperance between XP and Ubuntu. I would suggest that the default colours for the Toolbars on the desktop are friendlier. Also it would be handy to have an interactive tour for new users which explains the different features of the system. -- Linden Parker
  • I have an additional suggestion. A new computer user and former Windows users want a directory arrangement which is directly comprehensible and does not refer to the internals of the operating system. Like "UbuntuLinux", "DocsAndSettings", "Programs". -- Michiel Wittkampf

  • A user shouldn't need to look in to the / file system ever. Software is installed through apt and configuration is done with graphical tools. --Jesse McNelis

From unknown Thu May 19 01:18:14 +0100 2005 From: Date: Thu, 19 May 2005 01:18:14 +0100 Subject: Directory Structure Message-ID: <>

I have been playing with Linux trying to find the Distro for "me" as they say but to this day knowing where things park themselves on a Linux Distro once 1)installed 2)temporarily (I found that out tonight) 3) where Man, How-to and other documentation is and a host of other basic file system things which give even your advanced windows user a run for their money baffles me to this day after starting with Suse 9.1 about 3 months back on and off. The sorting system is different but it is how Linux has been boken down in my understanding for a long time and it works for partitioning and mounting onto different drives etc. but the walkthrough with this kind of information linked to it would be great... Your Linux OS is installed /x/y/z and the Gnome /x1/y1/z1 there etc so that finding backgrounds or trying to point linuxant to a file for kernel sources doesnt become thumb suck. My 2 cents d:-)

NewUsersImpressions (last edited 2009-12-31 04:19:26 by aporter)