Updating software in Linux: four strikes and you're out

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Linux

Since a couple Computerworld bloggers have been discussing installing software in Linux, I'd thought I'd chime in.

Preston Gralla lived with Linux for a couple weeks and complained about the software update process. This was a small part of his story but it generated enough interest that he wrote a followup, Seven newbie tips for installing Linux apps

In my opinion, Linux newcomers shouldn't need seven tips to install software. Just the existence of this article says a lot about installing software in Linux.

Later, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols commented that "When we live with any technology, we start taking for granted knowledge that we have that's a foreign language to others."

I couldn't agree more. This is a huge problem standing in the way of the widespread adoption of Linux.

A while back I was considering installing Linux on a computer and using the free VMware server to run other operating systems on the machine. But VMware's instructions to install their software were written by Linux techies for Linux techies and I couldn't understand them. I contacted a PR person at VMware who put me in contact with a techie at the company. After a couple emails back and forth I was right where I started. As Shakespeare said, it was all Greek to me. I gave up.

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