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6 Reasons to Switch to Linux

Tux

1. Linux is Stable as a Rock

As no doubt many in the industry will tell you, Linux is proven to be a reliable operating system (parts of your system may crash but not everything). While it may not be able to replace your desktop (especially if your a Windows or Mac poweruser), most Linux-based systems are rock-solid thus are being used in servers and embedded systems.

As an experienced Linux user, one of the better aspects of the OS is that you can run your system for months (even years) without needing a single reboot.
Even if you haven’t seen a Linux desktop in action, you’ve surely encountered one or another on mobile devices, dedicated firewall and router systems.

2. Virtually Hardware-Independent

As with Java, Linux was designed and written to be hardware independent. Be it mobile or desktop computing, pop Linux on your device and it’ll run. For individual peripherals though (like webcams, wireless cards) it’s still a hit or miss but that’s because manufacturers still aren’t recognizing Linux as a viable platform to create support drivers for.

Linux is also light in terms of resource consumption because of a combination of the internal design and development contributions from the -UX community. As an example, if you look at some of the derived Linux-distributions, you’ll note that most if not all of them have system requirements that are the bare-minimum of older computers (usually called a thin client configuration). Also, you can make use of older, less powerful hardware to share the resources of a single powerful system to extend their service life.

3. Thousands of Applications

Each Linux distribution (Fedora, Redhat, Debian are the 3 major distros) comes with thousands of application programs available for download with 95% percent of that number being literally free of charge giving you the huge freedom of choice. While some Windows-only applications are still irreplaceable like Visual Basic.NET, Windows Live Writer, Adobe Photoshop, etc, you can pretty much replace everything else with an equivalent or more.

Developers of Open Source platforms like Java, PHP, Python or even Web Development will find a plethora of development tools, compilers and/or interpreters, editors and even versioning tools. Popular programs like NVU and Eclipse have their equivalent Linux versions.

4. Interoperability

Linux does not isolate your or your network to a single, Linux-only community. With more and more computers and gadgets being to local networks and the internet, interoperability with other operating systems has become a must for powerusers, administrators and even casual users.

Linux follows open standards that allow this flexibility in terms of networking which is why Samba, a software that allows Linux to act as a client on a Microsoft Windows-based network was brought to the market. Similar programs are also present to allow you to network with Apple networks and Novell’s Netware.

5. Linux Is Configurable

Powerusers who want a Linux distro fully customized to fit his every need can create one from scratch, adding packages to the Linux core and configuring it until they are fully satisfied. While this is only for a chosen few (indeed, even I wouldn’t bother to create MY distro from the original linux kernel and add things by part), it’s still nice to have the freedom of adding your own configuration on your operating system. Customization can include GUI’s, system behavior, program preference, language preference (if available) and even hardware behavior.

For most users though, being able to switch GUI’s (GNOME to KDE, XCFE, etc) is more than enough freedom.

6. Viruses threat is nil

Yes, it’s very feasible to create malware that specifically targets Linux systems (and Macs for that matter) but the very design of the system saves it from this risk. For example, if a user were to activate a virus that ruins his files and system, it wouldn’t cause wide spread damage because primarily of permissions that would restrict him/her from accessing other user’s, thereby preventing damage.

In addition to this, virtually all Linux vendors offer free on-line security updates. The general philosophy of the Linux community has been to address possible security issues before they become a problem rather than hoping the susceptibility will go unnoticed.

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Comments ( 2 )

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  1. Teejay December 1, 2007 Reply

    I like Linux because virus are so few to nil. However, I still think that the best thing about Linux is that it’s free.

    No nasty updates messing up with some installations (I’m not so sure. Does is occur that when Linux packages updates, it messes up with the installed programs? I know Vista does.)

  2. sylv3rblade December 1, 2007 Reply

    Yeah, linux is free but it’s a given so I left it out =3

    In my experience, updates only mess with your system when if you download and install a new kernel since changes may stop some programs or services from working properly or become incompatible with them.

    On Vista well, it’s still young and MS did crap it out big time. Lets all just wait for XP’s SP3 and Windows 7

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