I don’t know if I should call this a trend or just an occurrence, but for some reason I find it distressing that some people are forcing others to use Linux, as a means of converting them. And on top of that, are suggesting other Linux fans do the same.
Here’s one example; I can think of others but they date back a while into the past and it’s harder to find them. One from a month or two ago mentioned a similar effort: Surreptitiously replacing XP with Ubuntu styled to look the same, in an effort to force people out of Windows. (I can remember one from a year or so ago where someone actually hijacked an entire series of computers in a public library, installing Ubuntu over top and eradicating whatever system was originally in place. What a nightmare.)
Now I’ll admit, I occasionally chase an IceWM theme that looks remarkably like the Windows Classic theme out of XP. And there are some quick and painless ways to make Ubuntu look identical to XP. That’s different. That’s changing the look to suit the user.
And I give away dual-boot machines quite often. I have in the past given away machines with only Linux installed, knowing full well that the recipient will erase the drive within minutes of getting it home, and put whatever pirated version of Windows on it. But I don’t consider it prosletysing, I consider it demonstrating that the machine is fully functional.
Tricking the user into using Linux (in some cases after they expressly turned it down). … What can I say? I know with absolute certainty that of course it happens, and it may well even work successfully, for all I know.
But how do you preach freedom and sharing to someone whose first experience with Linux was a complete opposite of that? How can you enjoy a sense of community with someone who was forced to join it? Where’s the logic in saying, “It’s free, it’s open, it’s faster, it’s more secure. … Now use it, because I said so.”
I suppose it’s none of my business. But if the tide of public opinion is turned, and Ubuntu users are shifting from passive to aggressive, then I would like to step out of the revolution now. I don’t agree with any effort to force someone into our community; those aren’t the terms I came to learn when I started using Ubuntu and Linux. Nobody tricked me into getting here, and I wouldn’t trick someone else into it either.
Respect, community, sharing, freedom — including the freedom to say, “No.”