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Take one... it's free!
7. It's free
I'm always shocked at how much trouble users have understanding the concept of open-source software and the fact that most of it is free. Their response is often to think the software can't be any good. Of course, in a consumerist society the idea that something free can be good may be difficult to grasp. In fact in many cases, open-source software is not only better for society, it's better for your computer.
Image credit: Tonx/Flickr
8. If you don't like it, you can change it
This point is another strange concept for new users, but one it's important for them to understand. Unlike Windows and Mac, if you don't like a Linux desktop, you can change it. Of course, swapping desktops is probably something a new user will not do lightly. But knowing that changing is an option can help new users understand how much flexibility they have. Besides, working with a desktop you don't like can be frustrating.
I prefer to demonstrate the types of desktops available and let them choose. Usually, they will go with what they're somewhat familiar with — KDE (pictured) is a good choice for most people — but on occasion a new user will go with something completely different just for the experience.
Image credit: kde.org
Feet up on desk
9. Not all hardware is created equal
New users need to understand that not every piece of shiny new hardware will actually function properly with the Linux operating system. This is far less of the issue it once was, but for some pieces of hardware — such as multi-function printers, some wireless cards, and laptop displays — the problems still persist.
For those pieces of hardware, solving the problem often merely requires downloading proprietary drivers. But on other occasions it may involve switching to a different distribution altogether. Nevertheless, Linux has come a long way in this area and continues to expand and improve.
Image credit: Bill Ruhsam/Flickr