Why do I bother using Linux?

Hello good people of Gnome.

Please, If this missive is in the ‘Wrong’ category - please move it to where it should reside.

I’ll try and make this as short as is practical.

I have arrived here amongst you good people out of sheer desperation!

I have been using Ubuntu 18.04 (with the Gnome Desktop) for some years. First on dual boot machines and now completely exclusive. Yes! No more Microsoft!! Hooray!!

At first everything was fine - until I began to gradually shed my Microsoft dependence.
Suddenly I needed a DVD burning application.
I found nothing in the Snap Store.
Somebody pointed me to the “AlternativeTo” website where I found some promising applications.
And this is where everything started to fall apart.

There were mentions of “Shell”, “Terminal”, “Compiling”, “Tarballs”, etc etc.
I am NOT an IT specialist. I don’t write code - (I used to many years ago write code in Visual Basic 4) but I Know NOTHING about coding for Ubuntu.

I use computers for writing text, researching History, looking at YouTube etc etc. Tinkering with the insides of a computer chip is certainly NOT one of my hobbies.

This leads to my question to you all - WHY, WHY, WHY am I expected to have the knowledge of an IT specialist in order to install a simple application on Ubuntu? When I used Vis Basic 4 all those years ago the .exe file was distributed with a dozen or more Dynamic Link Libraries - BUT they were all automatically enclosed in a simple application that installed everything with one click and with no outside help.

The SnapStore clearly has a similar application because one simply presses “Install” and Voila! done!

I try to encourage colleagues and friends to try Ubuntu but the answer is ALWAYS the same. “You need to be a Computer Geek to use Ubuntu. It’s too complicated.” Sadly, they are correct.

Linux will NEVER gain much traction outside the “Computer Enthusiast Community” until it becomes far more easy to use. It’s no good having ‘beautiful Desktops’ if one needs a degree in computers to install an application.

Somebody told me I should learn to use Terminal. WHY?? If I buy a new car, I do NOT expect to find all the parts in a container and then have to assemble it myself - without instructions too.

If the SnapStore can arrange for software to be painlessly installed on my computers surely other software authors can do the same.

So, Dear Gnome People, please don’t read this as a ‘Rant’ it’s not intended to be. I want to be able to continue using Ubuntu (with the Gnome Desktop, I believe) but I’m beginning to question my reasons for continuing.

Is Linux Ubuntu such a complicated, disconnected patchwork of odds and ends that it cannot be used like Microsoft or Apple machines?

Thank you for reading this far.

My kind regards to you all.


Hello, I think this topic would be better suited in Ubuntu Discourse. GNOME does not handle the distribution of snap packages, that is an Ubuntu thing.

Hello Dragonfly!

The Snap Store is indeed not part of GNOME. It is specific to Ubuntu. The store app in GNOME is named Software.

What kind of DVD burning app do you need?

Hello Mikenux,

Wow! such a quick response. Thank you.

I only used the SnapStore references as an example of painless application installation.

You mentioned the Gnome “Software” but searching Gnome.org revealed no links to ‘Software’.

I used to be quite enthusiastic with a Broadcast quality Cannon video camera and Magix Video Pro editing software. Not only is Magix a powerful editor, it also burns DVD’s and creates ISO disc images.
After moving house, I have mislaid most of my hard drives with raw footage and edited results. All I have found so far are some Master DVD’s and a few archived edits. I need to duplicate the Master DVD’s for safety. I have also found some ISO disk images to use as well.

I have used Brasero on Ubuntu in the past but I couldn’t find it in the SnapStore.

The AlternativeTo site listed Brasero. Everywhere I tried to click to download came back with the message “Brasero is Virtual” ? If one has no access to it, how can it be used?

There were another couple of applications but they all need the witchcraft incantations of Compile and Shell to bring them to life.

ONE application - X-CD Roast listed four or five lines of text to copy and paste into Terminal.
That worked and I’ve installed it but the application is VERY basic and not too straightforward to use. However, I WILL try and send the author a donation simply because he/she had the foresight to make the installation of his program fairly easy for me.

This is my complaint . - ALL flavours of Linux need to make software installation EASY for ordinary folks. It’s all too easy for computer enthusiasts to assume EVERYBODY understands the intricate operating system workings.

Am I really asking too much??

For me, I can accept a few lines of text to Copy and Paste into Terminal. Anything more complicated is not going to happen. If I have to, I will go back to dual booting to use Microsoft when Linux fails me.

Thank you so much for your reply. It is very much appreciated.

Kind regards,


Hi Jason,

Thank you for your response.

My arrival here is to find out why installing applications is often so difficult for “Non technical” people.

I used the SnapStore example to highlight that a “One click installation really IS possible” but most software authors seem to expect me to collect all the code together, compile into and application and then find a home for it on my hard drive somehow.

I understand that the SnapStore is not part of Gnome, but IF the SnapStore can create “One Click Installations” why cannot all other software authors do the same???

Is it because Linux is a disjointed, cobbled-together system? - Not saying it is, but asking, ‘Is it?’
Is it because the end user is expected to be a computer geek and fully fluent in the Linux witchcraft
Is it laziness? - they can’t be bothered to package it??
What is the reason???

These are all genuine questions - I’m just looking for answers to understand.

Many thanks,

Kind regards,


Ok, I see that this has been moved - somewhere??

I clicked the link suggested by jfrancis)[Jason Francis but could see nothing there.

As somebody new here, I have no idea where this post has been transferred.

Perhaps if somebody replies the system may send me an email link to take me to its new home??

Kind regards,


You can try installing it:

sudo apt install gnome-software

Then launch it and see if it searches what you need.

The link Jason gives you is a link to the Ubuntu Discourse where you have to create an account and post your issues with the Snap Store.

Possibly Ubuntu has changed something recently (I have not used it in years) but I think if you can do that, you can just install brasero that way:

sudo apt install brasero

I am not sure why Ubuntu has not packaged some applications as snaps, that would be a question for an Ubuntu developer.

Hi Jason,

Thank you so much for helping.

However, I ran the text you sent in Terminal and the result was →
E: Package ‘brasero’ has no installation candidate.

The “AlternativeTo” website states that “Brasero is virtual”!!!

Hi again Mikenux

The link Jason gives you is a link to the Ubuntu Discourse where you have to create an account and post your issues with the Snap Store.<<<

I don’t have ANY issues with SnapStore. I simply used them as an example of easy software installation - as opposed to Tarballs and Compiling and all that stuff.

Kind regards,


Your issue is that you don’t find some apps. However, whatever issues you’re having, this is the right place when it’s Ubuntu specific.

Do you have the “universe” repository enabled? See this site: How to Add or Remove the Ubuntu Universe Repository - Pi My Life Up.

Hi Mikenux,

Thank you for your continuing efforts to help me. It is appreciated.

I tried to install ‘Software Apps for Gnome’ - but nothing happened. I’ve tried it twice.

I have “Ubuntu Software” already bundled with Version 18.04 and I also downloaded SnapStore but they both look almost identical, so I assumed that they were.

Kind regards,


Did you try to enable the universe repository?

BTW I think there is interest in packaging apps in an easy way. You can see that from the many other apps in the Snap store. The problem seems to be that no DVD burning packages are really being developed much anymore, so nobody has bothered to package those nicely.

Hi Michael,

Many thanks for your continued help.

1st - for some reason a box was not ticked in the Software Updater

2nd, I think Jason understands this - I was originally asking why installing applications was so complicated when repositories like Ubuntu Software and SnapStore can install with just one click. That was my main reason for coming here in the first place - to ask the question and draw attention to the fact that installations are very complicated for “Non Techy” people.

I think I’ve achieved both goals now, so thank you very much for sticking with me and seeing it through.

Kind regards


Hi Jason,

I think you can see the problem I was trying to highlight - and asking why this happens.

Repositories such as SnapStore and Ubuntu Software can install their applications with one click, but going directly to software authors is a nightmare if one’s hobby is not tinkering with computers.
My question is - If SnapStore/Ubuntu can produce “One Click” installations why can’t everybody else?? What is the reason?? . . . . Really! Why??

The DVD burning software was simply a trigger for me. But Michael has now corrected that.

Just a little niggle has popped up on this site. While replying, suddenly the screen goes blank and the last few lines of text I wrote disappear. It says something about saving a draught - but I keep losing a number of lines of text.

Very many thanks for your help,

Kind regards


I just answered that. It is not because of technical reasons, there is just no interest in those apps. Brasero sees very little contribution from developers and seems to have few users.

Hi Michael,

Somehow text keeps being lost due to this site saving drafts. I’ve just noticed that a lot of text was missing from my last reply to you.

What I said was →
1st - for some reason a box was not ticked in the Software Updater. That has now been corrected and the Ubuntu Software application is considerably more populated now - including Brasero. So thank you very much for your help with this and pointing me towards the cause of one problem.

Kind regards


Ok. Installation is easy: this the one-click install from « app store » . Software availability depends on distributors, not on GNOME, including the enablement of repositories. Maybe the repository enablement can be clearer, and this can be possibly discussed. However, GNOME dev teams can’t do anything with Snap Store.

But what about other software? I have seen this a number of times with other types of software. (Can’t think of any right this minute, but I’ve seen links to software author’s websites and found something that could be useful, only to be faced with a list of files I’m expected to compile.??

Kind regards,