Why don't more women use Linux as their os


In all the facebook linux groups that I am a member, only a few are women. It puzzles me no end as I have been using Manjaro for over two years now and love it. I started my Linux experience with Mint and then after the normal distro hopping discovered Manjaro which I have stuck to ever since. Whenever I speak to my female friends who moan about their machines running slower and slower I suggest they try a Linux distro but they all seem to look at me sadly and say they know a man in the local shop who will fix it for them. So what can we do to show more women that you don’t have to be a geek or some super tech whiz to give it a try.


I think it is a question of generations. It used to be similar with driving licence some 50 years ago. But it won’t increase automatically with thech including Linux. Needs to be taught at school, I guess.


there might be more than you think. we don’t always announce ourselves.


It took three years of nearly constant prodding to get my wife to let me install Linux on her machine. She now dual-boots with Windows 8.1 and Manjaro XFCE. After three or four months, I would say she’s settled on Linux 99% of the time. In her case, she’s not the type of computer user who thinks about computing with any awareness of software – it’s more like, she’s used to certain programs acting in a certain way when she pushes a certain series of buttons, and she would never of her own initiative up and try something completely different. If I wasn’t around to restart her NetworkManager when her Broadcom WIFI connection drops, she’d go right back to Windows in a heartbeat – although, she’s picking up little tricks despite all that, and I know she’ll one day find out that she’s flying on her own.

I think that computing has been associated with males since the beginning, but that if enough Linux-using women show their geeky selves to the world, there’s a chance that Linux becomes a “thing” for more and more women who would otherwise never give it a chance.


I have converted both my wife and my neigbhorette to use Linux, so there are 2 more than you knew there were. But, isn’t the question: why don’t more people use Linux? I mean nowadays, and I know it has been different in the past, you can do almost everything on a Linux computer which you can do on “another” computer, it works fast and it stays fast (no registry clog), it looks good (if you play around with some themes first), it is private (in comparison to other OS’es which call home every 5 seconds), it is safe (no viruses, crapware, malware which you install automatically when installing some software). I started 8 1/2 years ago and never looked back and never will look back.
But to return to your question: I guess we just have to try harder to get more women to start using Linux.


As someone who was actually here 50 years ago I call BS. My mom had a drivers license, so did all my sisters, neighbors, and the girls I went to school with all got theirs at the same rate as the boys. (Although they usually had fewer accidents).

Maybe run it back to to 20s?

I don’t think its generational. I think its interest based. But I try not to analyse it too much, figuring women are free to do as they wish, and nobody is holding them back from using Linux.

Oh, and my Wife uses Ubuntu, which I detest, but its her computer, so…


I convert to my wife machine to Ubuntu then I start to Manjaro then she used Manjaro 1 year but he is mastering in a university and she have to use Windoz because of some libreoffice-MsOffice contability and SPSS. But she still says Manjaro was usable then Windoz .


My wife made her own decision, when her machine got the second or third virus, and mine never did. She converted and tried out three different distros and settled on Gnome/Ubuntu.

I don’t see any reason for anyone to try any harder to force a choice on someone else.


Did I say: force to use"? No, forcing is not good, but we can try to talk them into using Linux by showing the advantages.


I think, like mentioned, the real question is why don’t more people in general use Linux? I’d say it’s mostly a matter of education and time. A lot of people don’t know what a BIOS is or how to dual boot. You get Windows with a new PC and it’s all they have at school, where they teach you MS Office.

And Linux does sometimes throw you off with a bug that you can only fix through the CLI. It may be a simple fix, but still terrifying and stressful for a beginner. But, computer literacy is remarkably on the rise, as we’re transforming into an IT society and documentation for various distros is very good, so it’ll be increasingly easier for people to try and use Linux.


Well, you are from a somewhat progressive country.


They use Linux, but generally they prefer other groups and forums, not Linux groups and Linux forums.
That’s like a washing machine for many of them.


I have been thinking about this for a long time, I looked at the list of keynote speakers at the Linux Foundation conference, all men. Maybe not enough girls are encouraged to go further than learning MS Office when at school, this seems to be the way in the UK schools, maybe our teachers are not knowledgeable enough or perhaps this is because of school budgets with all the machines running on windows. For me I look after my husbands laptop which I installed Manjaro on a couple of years ago, he is fine just using it but if anything slightly goes wrong he hands it over to me as he does not have the confidence to do it himself. Maybe I am just odd,


It is similar with cars. Even if there almost as many women driving as men in developed countries, there are few women who are car enthusiasts and would discuss about car models somewhere.

But it can be even expanded to almost any topic. Showing off their knowledge is a conditioned male behaviour. Girls a getting conditioned differently, mostly discouraged from presenting themselves as experts in most situations.


Fortunately or not, Linux now can be used by those who are no experts in it.

Cars are not so simple; at least, you have to get a driver license to drive a car. Linux is more like a washing machine, I think: you have to know how to manage it, but it is quite simple, you need no license etc. And while using a washing machine, there’s no need to go to a forum discussing washing machines…


I think it all boils down to initiative… and curiosity, but mostly initiative.

People who get things taken care of, more often than not, do not poses that quality. The sad thing is, many women are treated like they cannot do anything by themselves, and if you do so long enough, anybody would begin to believe that themselves.

We should allow all kids to try and experiment on and with things. That is the only way one may develop a populace that is not scared of breaking a linux installation.


I don’t agree that women lack initiative. What they do lack, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, is time.
Women have less free time, in part because they are required to do more housework and child care than their male partners. (at least in the U.S)

Moreover, women with children or who care for elderly parents are generally the ones who are always “on call.” Learning and applying Linux requires blocks of uninterrupted time, which is a resource that many women simply do not possess.

I am female, and I am in charge of the IT in my family. I wanted to switch to Linux for many years before I did, because of time constraints, not ability or initiative.

I also think there are more women using Linux than it appears, because many women conceal their gender for safety. I almost never share my gender. This is one of maybe 2 sites where I do, because I find the Manjaro forum to be unusually respectful and accepting of women.


When I first moved to Linux it was Mint that I used and I did find a few of the men rather patronising, strangely enough I did not have this attitude amongst the Manjaro users. I am retired now but many years ago was educated at a Grammar Technical school where we were always taught to think and analyse so maybe that is a clue.


Sure, I guess that may also be a reason, but the anecdotal sample space, where from I inferred what I said earlier, consists purely of young unmarried adults, who all have similar amounts of free time.


Interestingly, the data is quite similar for Australians.