What Type of Linux User Are You?
I was reading up on a forum for one of the open source projects I support and I came across a few posts that made me think about "what Canonical is doing wrong". However when I really started to think about the real underlining issues, I started to think about the types of Linux users out there. Eventually I came to the opinion that Canonical's main problem is that it is appealing to the wrong segment of Linux users. This led me to the question; "What kind of Linux user are you?" That's the real reason for this article. So I ask you, what kind of Linux user are you. And before you answer with "I don't use Linux." read the article and see where you fit. Chances are you use Linux every day and just don't realize it. If your a client then your probably even paying to use Linux, even if you never login.
What is Linux?
The first type of user is the one that doesn't know they use Linux. This is the most common. If you run or own (or even maintain or edit) a website your almost certainly using Linux. You may only access it through Filezilla, or cPanel, but your still a user. Other great examples of this type of usage are proxy servers, file servers, ftp sites, and email servers. If you use any of those chances are your "using" a Linux server somewhere. That said I admit that it's not an *active* choice, and maybe that shouldn't count.
Running a server
The next type of Linux user is the server owner, maintainer, or supporter. Lot's of things still run on Windows or other OSes (there are more then 3 OSes out there) but a large part of the server community runs on Linux. It's about the right tool for the job, and for this group of users, they researched, learned, experienced and then decided that Linux was the right tool for that Job. For many in this group the distro of choice is **Redhat Enterprise Linux** or **CentOS**.
I want choices
This user is like the person that constantly rearranges the furniture. They want to adjust everything, tinker with every thing, poke and prod everything. When it's all said and done they care more about the customizations they have done to their computer and less about getting work done with the computer. Linux is great for this. It allows you to adjust damn near everything, and because it's open source, if you can't adjust it you can just re-write it so you can. Users in this group usually prefer distros like **Gentoo**, that make you to build all things from source code.
Sticking it to the man
Users in this group see Microsoft (or Apple) as "The Man" and want to stay as far away from them as possible. Usually it's not about the right tool for the job its about trying to make a statement. Like waring a pink ribbon isn't about function it's about the statement. These users go out of there way to never use a Microsoft product, never buy an iThing, and proudly display Tux stickers on EVERYTHING. Nothing wrong with that. This group usually stays away from any big distros and uses things like **Arch Linux** or **Puppy Linux**. The smaller the better (Arch is pretty big but somehow avoids looking like it).
No This is my money!
This group of users is the down side to Linux. These are the users that just refuse to pay for something. They use Linux because most distros are free. Simply put they are cheap. Cost effects all of our decisions, but users in this group choose the $0 choice even when it's not the right one, simply because they are too cheap to spend money on the OS they want, with no other considerations. They also don't give back to the community, and are the loudest complainers when stuff breaks. Sadly for Canonical users in this group tend to flock to **Ubuntu**.
Open Source For Life
People grouped here support the open source ideas and really fight to make it work. They are on projects, devote time and resources (even money) to making it happen. For what ever reason (there are many) they didn't like what was available and decided to work collaboratively to make it better. They use Linux because it's the best fit for there desire to be able to improve and contribute. There is no primary distro for these guys but usually they are using something near the top (stuff other stuff is based on) like **Debian** or **CentOS**.
Don a Tin Foil Hat
You know someone like this. They think the world is out to get them, and that everyone is tracking there every movement. They think there is a corporation or government agency, that has nothing better to do then listen to their phone calls, read their emails, watch their home movies and scan their bank accounts. Linux grants a very high level of security when configured correctly and these users know how. Most of us think they are crazy or over-worried, or just plain paranoid. Then again .... the recent news ... While I go get my noodle strainer, let me say that these users usually go with ultra secure distros like **QubesOs** or **Tails**.
I just want it to work
A lot of users in this category moved from Windows or OS X because they wanted a computer that just worked. They want something that stays out of the way and lets them do their thing. Many users here use "downstream" distributions like **Ubuntu** or **Linux Mint**. It's simple they want something that works with no fuss and, for them, Linux delivers.
Most of us
The vast majority of Linux users don't fit in any one of the groups above cleanly. Typically they are stronger in one area then another. For example I want a computer that just works, but I like to contribute to Open Source projects. I don't usually sit in a Faraday cage but I am aware of security concerns, and I live in a world where money matters. (I also hate Microsoft). I use **LMDE** because it fits my needs. Think about it honestly, which group are you in?
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