Installing a Linux Based System For Others

A common question I see in discussion forums is people asking what distro to install for a friend or family member.

Many of these people want to migrate other people for ideological reasons rather than pragmatic reasons. My observations in life is proselytizing creates conflict. I also have observed that many people do not want to be saved.

A healthier approach is focus on the apps and not the desktop. Help people migrate one app at a time, while not touching the so-called “vile” Windows.

This is similar to what training professionals call task analysis. What tasks do the people perform and what tools are needed to perform that task?

Task analysis requires observation and interviews. Task analysis focuses on the user’s needs and not the fan-boy’s desires.

For many users migrating apps is doable. For some users where vertical software is used, not so easy and perhaps impossible.

Training time is needed to adjust to new apps. The migration hill tends to be steeper for people who are not technology geeks or gurus. People can change but need time to breath too.

After adjusting to new apps, users might then be ready for the adjustment to a new operating system.

There is a reason The Year of the Linux Desktop has not occurred. Linux based systems require more hands-on maintenance than Windows.

Computers are tools. Treat them that way.

Posted: Category: Commentary, Usability Tagged: General

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