Before we start pulling Linux apart, it’s important that we establish what it is – for those who do not know. Assuming that those who do not know, are probably Windows or Mas users, as they are the most popular. That doesn’t mean you aren’t using Linux though, in fact it is still all around you and within technologies you use everyday.
So What is Linux?
Linux is an operating system. Just like Windows or OS, it makes the communication between the software and the hardware for you. It is freedom. Linux is an open licensed system, which means it is completely developer friendly and you can distribute your modified version to help other users – use your powers for good my friend.
Why Would You Use Linux?
Say you are a Windows user, always have been, why would you want to learn a whole new operating system? Practically all the computers these days are Windows – you buy a new laptop, Windows, you go to the library, Windows, use a computer at work, yeah probably Windows. Unlike Windows or OS, Linux offers some pretty snazzy features that don’t compare in terms of freedom and open sourcing.
Linux is free (you can put it on as many systems as you like) and you can change it to suit your needs. Windows isn’t free, you have to buy it and only have a couple of uses out of that product key. Microsoft and Apple, both know where their bread is buttered in terms of getting the most out of the market here.
The question is, are you just using Windows because it is all you know – would you prefer Linux if you used it? Get your head around it and possibly, yeah.
What is Linux Used For?
As well as an operating system, Linux has a few ‘think outside of the box’ uses.
- You can use it to troubleshoot other computers. Say for example your computer won’t boot up, you can still pop a live disc with Linux on, in the drive and access the harddrive.
- Build or host a website, in fact many of the websites you access run on Linux.
- An operating system for your computer.
- Creating servers at a cheaper cost.
- Linux is all around you – In your TV, Smart phone and even your fridge or washing machine. If it needs a programme, it needs the system to run it. Think of your washing machine as a tiny washing computer.
The Pros of Linux
- It is very easy to install and you don’t need to install it all straight away. If you just want to test the waters and see if you like it, you can boot Linux from a USB flash drive or CD and use it from there. It will boot just fine and you don’t need to make changes to your hard drive – win / win.
- If you have a bit of developer in you and know what you are doing you change Linux to suit you. Unlike Windows (as it’s a tad illegal for Windows)
- It’s free! You do not have to pay for it.
- You can distribute your changes in Linux to help others.
- It is known for being a more stable and secure system (The chances of getting a virus on Linux are notably lower than other OS).
- It consumes very little resources and space unlike Windows. So you can virtually run a system on 500MB of drive and 300mb of ram. Pretty impressive.
- It can be run with Windows or inside of Windows if you don’t want to jump ships completely.
- It is a very smart and powerful system, you practically have power over whatever you want and configure almost everything.
- There are alternatives for nearly any programme or it’s close cousin e.g. Photoshop, Microsoft Word there will be free versions.
- There is community support for troubleshooting
The Cons of Linux
- It isn’t as user friendly as Windows or as ‘straight out of the box.’
- There isn’t a dedicated tech support, so getting ‘fixes’ for things is in your hands unless you want to subscribe to Enterprise Linux. However, you do get the software free so it’s something to consider.
- If you are a gamer, you will prefer Windows as most of the games aren’t available but that’s not to say you can’t. Just not as much and as easy.
- Drivers don’t really exist, there will be work arounds but users have reported problems when trying to use certain hardwares or old hardwares.
- It’s probably better used as a dual boot rather than a Windows replacement due to the fact you can’t get propriety programs on it and although they offer cousins, it won’t be the same. Photoshop is Photoshop, after all.
The end conclusion? Linux is a superior system that allows you to pretty much do anything you like within it and it is free. In reality, you’re reading this on your Windows or Mac run computer and that’s probably how it will stay.
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.