[PLUG] Why are students/colleges not using *nix systems

श्रीधर नारायण दैठणकर ghodechhap at ghodechhap.net
Thu Dec 21 13:49:55 IST 2006

On Thursday 21 December 2006 12:47, Varun Mehta wrote:
> Hi All,
> This is a thread to identify the points each one feels could be the
> reason why *nix systems are not widely used as compared to M$ systems.
> Would prefer if people would append their view as points to the list,
> so in the end we still have a consolidated list. [Some of the points
> are based on personal opinion]
> Problems:
> ---------------
> 1. Most of the college labs find it easy to install M$ systems on
> larger scales, cos the network configuration ease [read tools easily
> available] Firewalls and restrictions implementing softwares [just
> click click click]

Actually nobody gives a damn about system installed. Profs are interested in 
getting the semester through and students are interested in degrees and not 
irritating profs/college.  I can bet that most colleges are running a system 
where various versions of software/platforms are available and nobody can 
reliably audit softwares available/used.

e.g. A group doing a project on MS SQL server cannot document how to install 
SQL server and set it up but their project works in the demo and they get 

It is kind of who-gets-caught-is-a-thief mentality/paradigm. *nix are harder 
to setup and those setup shows more problems so people avoid it. The 
intention is not to fix the problems but to make sure that they don't 

> 2.  Most of the profs are also not that well versed with *nix systems
> and have some apprehension to work on them, prefer M$ cos of usability
> issues

I would blame profs on first scale and the over all education system even 
before that. 

I have witnessed first hand that
- profs cut down project features
- profs don't give enough time to projects
- profs refuse to accept assignment on anything else but redhat 6.2
- profs telling students to use postgresql and not providing any help at all.

On their defense, profs have in general lot to do and have lot of students to 
handle. Also I might have a really bad luck with the profs I had to deal with

So it has nothing to do with unix. It is the way the education industry is 
run. If linux wasn't made mandatory, it would never have appeared in 
colleges. I think it is mandatory in some courses. That is why we see some 

> 3. Since most of the students do not get exposed to *nux systems in
> colleges the non-adventurers too develop an inhibition for it.

Problem is working on unix has no advantage in college. Nobody knows it, 
nobody asks for it. So the motivation is way too low..

> Please add yours suggestions to the list.

I would suggest to video shoot lectures and distribute those CDs for free/cost 
of media. It would cut thr. all the bureaucracy straight away.

BTW, webcasts of lectures in berkley are available at 
http://webcast.berkeley.edu/courses/index.php. Check out. I think every 
course ever taught should be available for free.

Yeah education should be free, just like speech and software should be. Wooing 
away profs/educational institutes is a hard way of doing things.


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