Alan Pope Answers Your Tough Questions (FULL 80 Minute Video Interview)

Here it is, the full 80 minute video interview.



Where did you get that picture of Alan? It’s hilarious, not very flattering, but made me laugh… I needed a good laugh

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I respect @popey for his work and like the sound of his voice, but man his eyes kind of freak me out. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

He’s used that image in several places (including his Telegram channel ‘Telecast with popey’ image) - so Jason probably didn’t pick it, @popey did!

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Well…I got it from him!

I do not care about snaps versus flatpaks but oh boy how I care about my coffee. :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:



1:06:10 I have a ideological problem with the reply from Alan pope on this one. The problem is that in “Everyone Support Ubuntu and forget the other distros” we basically become the thing we ran away from, and we basically make Ubuntu the new “Microsoft/Apple” ideologically, or to usethe old saying, “We’ve traded one devil for another”. What we truly need is for Hardware to be supported either out-of-tree or in the kernel with open source drivers.

Many new Linux users have trouble with Linux when their mouse, keypad, scanners, printers and audio devices don’t work out of the box like they do on Apple or Windows. Now with more accessories like RGB lighting, Motherboard feature support and AIO cooler support, it makes it even more difficult for users to move to Linux because these accessories simply don’t work.

I also have another point to make about Linux distributions and Desktop Environments. I ask myself, What do New Users to linux really need? Is it aptitude/apt-get, dnf/yum, zypper or pacman ? A new user knows none of these things and would rarely interact with it if they use their Desktop Software center. What distinguishes a distribution from another if not for the package manager? Honestly does a new user cares? Most of the time new users want 2 things :

1.) Does my hardware/ peripherals work out of the box
2.) What software replaces what I had on Mac/Windows

That’s it ! Seriously, that’s all. Does my laptop features work, does my headset work, my mouse/keyboard . . . That’s pretty much it.

Desktop Environments are primarily foreign to new users. As a matter of fact, many don’t like change ! They were happy with WinXP or Win 7 Aero theme and desktop like feel (Start Menu in the bottom left corner, pop up app menu, file manager etc.) any change to this “norm” would cause an uproar. On the Mac OS side you had the fans of “System 6” or “System 7” and it’s setup (Top left corner, App menu, etc ).

My argument is, If you sat a new user down in front of a KDE desktop running on Fedora, Ubuntu, Arch, or any other, they wouldn’t know what distro they are running. Applications packaged in a Flatpak, Snap or Appimage will further remove users from what supposedly divides Linux users with Distrobution Wars. It simply won’t matter.


What @popey talks about here is something I actually agree with…

The 2nd biggest problem with Linux (1st being the inherent tribalism that the vocal minority display), is that to bring somebody new to Linux who has had minimal contact and basically says “I hate what Windows is doing, and I don’t want to pay through the nose for Mac, so I’ve heard of this Linux, I should try it”, and then immediately gets inundated with options… options that they have absolutely no idea how to sort through themselves because of their lack of knowledge and understanding of Linux…

I’ve been using Linux on and off since the late 90’s. When Ubuntu came along in the mid 2000’s, it was the first Linux Distro that ‘just worked’ on pretty much all consumer computers (note I said pretty much)…

If you were to poll current Linux users, and asked them what Linux distro would you give your Parents/Grandparents to use if they had to use one… I’d bet well over 90% of people would either choose Ubuntu, an official Ubuntu flavor, or a distro that is based on Ubuntu (Elementary, Linux Mint, etc)

Desktop Environment choices is something that no Windows/Mac user understands, because you only have what those 2 OS’s come with… Sure you can add applications that do some basic modifications, but in reality, neither of them is as fully extensible as to change the Desktop like changing from Gnome to KDE to XFCE, etc, etc… So asking a user to choose between A and B again without any real knowledge on which would be better for them…

I sort of equate it to first living on your own and you go grocery shopping… Most people continue to buy what they were used to their parents buying when they lived at home, because they are overwhelmed by all the various options for every single item in the store… And will only try different options slowly… (maybe a bad comparison, but you get my general idea)…

If you want more people on Linux, you need to not have so many options FOR THE GENERAL USER. There will always be people who should hit the advanced track running… but the bulk of general computer users need to be led and handheld…

Most people don’t switch operating systems from what was on their computer when they bought it… The only reason why they change from XP to Win7 to Win10 is because either A) they bought a new computer that had the new version on it, or B) Microsoft ‘forced’ them to upgrade. It wasn’t a conscious choice.

So yes, I agree that there should be one primary Linux distro that everyone (again, general computer users, not advanced power users) should flock to in which to start their Linux journey… and once they’ve used it for a few months, done some updates, they can then start looking at all the myriad of possibilities to move to.

And of course, because @popey is a Canonical employee, he is going to suggest Ubuntu. Just like if you worked for Red Hat or Suse, you would suggest those…


Funny is that this is already happening. I think most of us are the proof of it.
When I came to Linux it was because of Ubuntu and this is what I recommend. Maybe in some special cases Linux Mint or some Ubuntu flavor but generally Ubuntu.
I never heard about other options.

In my opinion the Linux distribution already exists and it is Ubuntu. After that comes the choice.


Some folks are blasting @popey because he had the ‘audacity’ to suggest Ubuntu as the primary Linux target… Which of course, if you work for a Linux Distro company, you are going to suggest ‘your’ distro…

If you listened/watched the interview - you could twist what he was saying to say that all other Linux distros should just go away… but that wasn’t what he was trying to say… He was trying to say (my paraphrasing) that we should have a ‘single’ entry point for new people so as not to inundate them with frivolous choice to start with… then, once they get comfy in Linux, let them explore the world of Flavors/other distros.

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My argument is that the distro doesn’t matter anymore either… [Pop_OS!, Mint, Debian, Ubuntu], [Fedora, OpenSusue, Arch] At the end of the day, if they all run Gnome or KDE a new user wont know the difference between distros.

BUT, nominating 1 distro as the default starter someone trying to help them if/when they have a problem or question will know the baseline they are working from (package manager, desktop, where config and log files are kept, etc.). I agree one into the applications the distro doesn’t matter (as much) and we are today spoiled for generally good, functional, usable, and sometimes pretty, distros but to get people started and helping them having a known baseline really helps.

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In theory… except that none of them ship stock. And if any distro shipped stock Gnome out of the box, I would never suggest it for a new user, as stock GNOME, in my opinion, borders on useless for someone who doesn’t know what they are doing.