Why don't more women use Linux as their os


Most people just want something that works out of the box. For that purpose, it makes more sense to stick to Windows or macOS, which come in just one type of flavor. Their interfaces are well-known, practical, very reliable and simple enough.

Linux in general requires quite a bit more of a techy inclination, which is typically more of a male trait. It also doesn’t help that it comes in some many different flavors, hence more complicated to be mass adopted. Android being the exception.

Not much mystery. It’s pointless to reinvent the wheel for most people, and that’s perfectly wise.


I would argue that techiness is not inherently a male trait. Three-quarters of U.S. middle school girls express interest in pursuing STEM, although that drops precipitously buy college. This suggests the problem is not inherent interest, but external conditions.


Not sure it’s consequential to discuss whether certain traits are innate or externally conditioned in either sex. I’d say both sides are most likely highly intertwined. Just like genetic predisposition and environmental influence cannot be dissected appart.

If we were to suddenly reset the human species to let everything follow its own evolutive course all over again, I doubt that traits traditionally connoted with either gender or even the so-called “gender roles” would be much different than they are today.


Sure, but then chalking things like “techy inclination” to genetic predisposition without any proof whatsoever is just intellectually irresponsible.

I agree with you when you say that it is very hard to dissect the effects of nurture and nature, but there is a simple way. Nurture is a thing we control. So say we establish equality of expectations (and a whole host of other stuff), then we take one variable out. The differences that remain maybe attributable to nature and the ones that disappeared to nurture (of course I am oversimplifying when I say that it will be binary).

That said, I believe that as far as issues that pertain to intellectual ability/interests are concerned, it is mostly an artefact of differential nurture. My only proof, as I said earlier is anecdotal.


Getting back to the OP’s primary question–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.

Only 3% of desktops use Linux, a free, open, powerful and incredibly customizable OS that is vastly superior to M$ and iO$. Apparently most people, regardless of gender, find the move to Linux intimidating.

However, I think Manjaro is already doing a lot.
It is incredibly easy to use, reliable, and has a committed, generous, and respectful community that is particularly kind and patient to newbies.

Other than that, we can share our experiences and help our friends and family over the bridge. Personally I have moved 3 people to Manjaro, (men and women) and all of them are grateful—and surprised that the change was so painless.


Not sure where I’m implying that…

Suggesting that things wouldn’t be much different doesn’t necessarily imply a genetic predisposition or some sort of hard-coded limitation. Obviously, there’s a range of outcomes subject to random cause and effect.


[quote=“battleborn, post:1, topic:13639”]
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.
[/quote]You, and I mean you personally, should write a (research) paper on the subject and make it into a presentation(Impress of course) which you will present at as many techno’ conferences that you can afford to attend and will allow such a paper to be presented.

IF hesitant about where or how to start I think safe bet would be to ask at LinuxChix, who BTW have been around for as long as I have been using Linux -since 1999. There are others such as Women In Linux (and prbly still more) but those are the only ones I know about.
I don’t participate (tho’ I see now that men can …) so I do not know how they work. However, I would bet that last dollar(or pound) that either would be thrilled to have a member with your experience and enthusiasm!

Facebook, Twitter, even LinkedIn and Google+ are social gatherings and not really a great place to estimate participation in any technology unrelated to using those websites.
However, any/all might be a good start to promotion of Linux for females! …not sure but ithink “Moms on Linux” does not exist, yet, ;).



My wife–a, um, paid code monkey for over 30 years–won’t even consider Linux because she says there’s not much money in it. So there’s her take on it.

She doesn’t hate it–though she does hate how much I expound on its virtues–it’s just not sexy enough for her.



Lot of good comments and advice… thanks everyone for responding.


You started out on the wrong foot right there…

/me: Running and ducking…


Very good question. This disparity is an obstacle to spreading the word about Linux or even just the idea that there is a (in a Stallman sense) ‘free’ alternative out there.

In my life, so far, the only people I’ve personally met who I know are aware of Linux, use it or have tried it, are male. The only exception is my girlfriend, who uses my laptop very frequently.

It was the second machine that I ‘liberated’ completely by purging Windows from it totally (I even went as far as too wipe the drive totally by dding it to heck). Initially my girlfriend’s reaction was negative, it was almost as if she wanted to find fault with it. Little issues that popped up were remarked on - but now, I don’t even think she consciously thinks about the fact that she’s using Linux.

What helped in that particular case was switching to the Manjaro Cinnamon community edition, it’s been a remarkably polished experience for me across both my machines. It is extremely accessible for a casual user like my girlfriend.

It think Persephone makes a very valid point when it comes to time constraints: it is a factor with the people I know personally at least. My female friends are very career driven, generally much more so than my male friends. It means that they have less time to make the switch to another platform and are very dependant on the tech standards their respective industries set.

I know a lot of females who studied STEM subjects and work in STEM fields, but the vast majority of them either fell into natural sciences (like Earth and Ocean Science and Geology), or medical sciences. I only know one exception off the top of my head, and to her credit she is one of the most knowledgeable IT professionals that I personally know.

In the past, I might have fallen more heavily on the nature side of the ‘nature versus nurture’ debate. I’m coming around to looking at the ‘nurture’ side of it more closely. It seems to play a much bigger role than I previously thought.

Ensuring that our communities are open to diversity is pretty vital. Working towards usability and compatibility would also work, simply because it would make Linux a real alternative for people in general. It’d open that door a tiny bit more and show people that there is something else out there for them.

It will be interesting to see what becomes of the next generation, it’s remarkable to see infants and up interacting with technology in an intuitive, almost fluent way. I’m sure that will have an effect on the gender balance in Linux and related fields.


If my mind get me wrong there is a woman on Manjaro Team :slight_smile: Maybe it’s time to get women on Manjaro Team board :slight_smile:


Funny because my mom is also a linux usewr, sure its a chromebook but she has ran standard linux in the past.
(she ran mint for a while, she got a chromebook because it was cheap)


Why do women prefer chic rich men to geeks?
Just kidding! :smile:
Seriously, may be there is usually a man who fixes Windows for women, but a Linux girl should study and learn to fix the problems by herself.


And a Linux boy should learn how to cook a meal, wash the clothes, sew a button on a shirt.


My mom runs linux too, since 5 years now.
She is skilled with double clicks and bookmarks, no more. :smiley:


Well Actually if they want Linux flavor that works our of the box. Most new users should maybe try Opensuse. As I am not big fan of one click installs that Opensuse does. Because you don’t really learn anything. However Opensuse does make it pretty easy for a new user to use linux. I am also member of the Opensuse community cause my girlfriend uses the distro. so I use it on one of my many machines. Any way Opensuse uses yast as there installer/package manager. That package manager uses no command line a new user can see any how. As for why more women don’t use linux I am not sure on the answer. I agree most people it more about education what exactly is out there as far as distribution wise as far as linux goes. Think the last count on total available for linux was 256 according to one wiki of total Distributions out there. The documentation for Manjaro is absolutely amazing. Having great documentation for distro really helps new user learn more quickly then disorganized version. Since I am from Sidux which is now gone. I think if Linux as a whole were more marketed it would make people more aware of it. As it is in society today most people stick to what there used to.


my wife likes windows does not see the need for anything else, but that is ave woman’s logic,it comes free as a system why change it tell her their is a virus? answer you can fix it.


Most womens are not good with computers/tech, they just cant understand things in a simple way. Most of them are comfortable with windows, They have enough patience, so can handle windows.


Why are there so little women using Linux? Because in general women seem to be less interested in technology (unfortunately) and, if you are not interested in technology, you generally don’t use Linux.

Additionnally, we are on the internet: If you don’t know someones gender, you tacitly assume it’s male. So the visible proportion of women using Linux is even less than the true amount.