Turn to Your Left at the End of the Sky

Linux for the masses

Every now and then it is forcefully driven home to me that Linux is not yet ready for mass adoption. I have been trying to set up my back / forward mouse buttons on Feisty Fawn. There is no reason why this should be difficult but the official instructions are alarmingly non-deterministic! Exhortations to “experiment” are just plain annoying. Plug and Play (TM) might not be perfect but it gets the job done most of the time.


July 1, 2008 - Posted by | Computers & Internet, Engineering, Internet, Technology, Thoughts | , , , ,


  1. Try preinstalled Linux. The masses don’t install operating systems themselves.

    Comment by ubuntucat | July 1, 2008 | Reply

  2. I’m using a virtual machine that I downloaded with everything pre-installed. Either way, getting each mouse to work shouldn’t require a large amount of trial and error. I do like a lot about Linux but the people at Ubuntu really need to make it simpler to configure a mouse!

    Comment by simplelight | July 2, 2008 | Reply

  3. By preinstalled, I mean the computer itself that you buy from a manufacturer has Linux already preinstalled on it.

    I don’t mean that you install it yourself on a virtual machine.

    For example, I bought my Asus Eee PC from NewEgg, and it came with Xandros Linux already on it (not Windows). I didn’t have to install Xandros myself. It was already there, and everything worked right out of the box because Asus took care of all the configuration. So wireless, touchpad, screen resolution, sound, hotkeys, multimedia playback, suspend all worked without me having to do anything except turn on the computer.

    This is the same experience most Windows users (i.e., “the masses”) get. They buy a computer from Dell, HP, Sony, Asus, Acer, etc. and the computer already has Windows on it, preinstalled and preconfigured. All they have to do is turn on the computer.

    Comment by ubuntucat | July 2, 2008 | Reply

  4. Ok – I see what you mean. Still, at some point, it would be nice to be able to easily swap out a mouse without having to guess the button numbering. But it’s probably more of an issue with manufacturers not being willing to throw their full support behind Linux just yet.

    Comment by simplelight | July 2, 2008 | Reply

  5. Point well taken.

    I have no personal experience with it, but I’ve read in several different places of people having trouble with five-button mice in Linux. I don’t even know what a five-button mouse looks like or what the five buttons would do. (I’m more of a traditional two-button mouse kind of user.)

    I think it’d be great to have a “recommended hardware” list (not the same as the hardware compatibility lists that currently exist) or to have a way to convince hardware manufacturers to stick little penguin Tux logos on the sides of boxes for peripherals that are Linux-friendly.

    Comment by ubuntucat | July 2, 2008 | Reply

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