Why should you install Linux? Outlined below are five great reasons to make the switch.
Linux is Safe, Secure and Reliable
This should be your number one reason to install Linux, though it’s not the most glamorous. As we spend more and more time online, connecting with strangers, visiting questionable web sites, downloading and installing suspicious packages, we open our computers(and ourselves) to greater risks.
Linux was designed and built for security. For this you should thank a developer. Linux undergoes a thorough and comprehensive review process. The army of contributors to the Linux kernel scrutinize every last detail of the source code quickly catching and fixing any potential weaknesses. As Linus’s Law states: given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.
The design of Linux prevents you from unwittingly inviting an attack. You have to log in as root to implement any changes to the system. When you first install and run Linux you may find yourself annoyed by the frequency at which you are asked to enter your password. But after awhile, as your machine continues to evolve and improve rather than degrade and decay, you will greatly appreciate the built-in security features.
Yes, there are Linux viruses and malware. But they have a very difficult time surviving in a Linux environment. Unless you are a complete nitwit and actively choose to leave your back door open, you will probably not get infected.
Linux is Free!
Free as in free. Not only is Linux free, Linux will help you save money, too. When considering a Linux distribution, the only dollar sign you should see is at the command prompt. (Unless of course, you are feeling generous & want to donate to your favorite distro or software developers(which you should, because even though donations may not pay their bills, it spurs and encourages their continued efforts)). You can run Linux on your old hardware. Because of its smaller kernel size and your ability to customize it, you don’t need to purchase a new machine every two years like the larger vendors want you to believe.
With Microsoft & Apple you are paying for the operating system upfront when you purchase your new computer. That’s bad enough. What’s worse is that you get locked into the end-user loop where you will find yourself needing to upgrade your system… at an additional cost.
If you want to go deeper you can build your own PC. It’s not difficult. If you can assemble IKEA furniture you can assemble a desktop tower. Once you start down this path you can customize and tweak your hardware specs to create you dream machine. What’s more, because you know how it’s built, you will know how to upgrade it when the time arises.
Linux is Communal
Linux is a community effort in every step along the way, from the developers to the users.
This community is a great source of support. If something goes awry, just get on the forums and any number of volunteers are more than happy to help you solve your problem, assuming you’ve done your homework first and ask politley. Try troubleshooting using Apple’s or Microsofts guides. Was this helpful? It’s rarely the answer you are looking for.
Furthermore, there are new distributions(distros, as they say) of Linux appearing seemingly daily. If you install Ubuntu and don’t like the interface, try Mint. If that’s not to your taste, try Pear. Too simplified? Get crazy with Arch. You have so many options in choosing your operating system and each has its own community built around it.
Linux has everything you need (well, almost)
If you are an average computer user, Linux has everything you need. And all of it is free. There’s LibreOffice, a great office suite which I think is better than anything Microsoft has to offer, a plethora of music and video players, graphics applications, photo managers, podcast clients… the list goes on and on. If you’re a gamer, Steam is now available on Linux and it’s awesome. There are new games made available every day.
But, if you are a professional media producer, Linux is not yet the best choice. Emphasis on the yet. It’s all changing as I write. The award-winning Lightworks NLE is in beta. Ardour is now a contender in the heavyweighty DAW division. Blender gets better and better with every release. The major weakness is in image processing for print production. But that’s in the works, too.
Linux is the Future!
Look at the rising popularity of Linux and the rising cost of the other options. There’s a 4 to 1 chance you own an Android phone and a 6 in 10 chance any given website you visit is running on a Linux server. Linux might even be running on your internet router, your GPS device, your PDA… That’s because Linux is everywhere! Why? Your first guess might be because it’s free. Actually, it’s an incredibly reliable and secure system, as we covered earlier. Second, it’s multi-platform & incredibly customizable. You can make it as lean and light as you need which makes it very attractive to hardware as well as software developers.
Furthermore, all of the stuff that makes the present cool to geeks and hackers will only continue to grow: Android, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, the Internet… The future is being built right now. Don’t you want to be a part of it?