|Why Linux ? Most people reading Linux Basics tutorial will probably be using Windows 95/98/NT/XP/etc. If you are such a reader and just use your computer for basic wordprocessing and spreadsheets I would recommend that you stick with Windows; for all its faults Windows is easy to use, fairly quick to learn and has some great software.|
|To give you a satisfactory answer of this question(Why You should use Linux and Dump Windows), first I would like to tell you what is Linux (also referred as GNU/Linux):|
|Linux is a complete operating system that is similar but not identical to UNIX. It runs on a wide variety of hardware, ranging from 386’s/486’s/Pentiums/Pentium II’s to more exotic hardware such as Digital Alpha computers, PowerPCs, and Silicon Graphics workstations.|
|Probably the most unique characterisitc of Linux is that it is freely distributable. Freely distributable means that the source code for the kernel and most software cannot be withheld. It does not mean that companies cannot charge for it.|
|For everyone else, please read on.|
|Here are 10 reasons why Linux could be the best operating system for you:|
|• A Linux Distribution has thousands of dollars worth of software for no cost (or a couple of dollars if purchased on CD)|
|• Linux is a complete operating system that is:|
|• Stable – the crash of an application is much less likely to bring down the operating system under Linux|
|• Reliable – Linux servers are often up for hundreds of days compared with the regular reboots required with a Windows system|
|• extremely powerful|
|• Comes with a complete development environment, including C, C++, Fortran compilers, toolkits such as Qt and scripting languages such as Perl, Awk and sed. A C compiler for Windows alone would set you back hundreds of dollars.|
|• Excellent networking facilities: allowing you to share CPUs, share modems etc; all of which are not included or available with Windows 95.|
|• The ideal environment to run servers such as a web server (e.g. Apache), or an FTP server.|
|• A wide variety of commercial software is available if your needs aren’t satisifed by the free software.|
|• An operating system that is easily upgradeable. After any length of time a typical installation of Windows and software gets into a complete mess. Often the only way to clear out all the debris is to reformat the hard disk and start again. Linux, however, is much better for maintaining the system.|
|• Supports multiple processors as standard.|
|• True multi-tasking; the ability to run more than one program at the same time.|
|• An excellent window system called X; the equivalent of Windows but much more flexible. Of course there are many other reasons to use Linux such as the full source code is provided and can be modified but ‘regular’ application users will unlikely need the source code.|
|If these reasons are not enough and you are not satisfied why you should use Linux then I’ll tell you more reasons:|
|1. Forget about viruses. Linux hardly has any viruses. And that’s not like “Oh well, not very often, you know”. That’s like “If you’ve ever heard of a real Linux virus, please tell me”. Of course, a Linux virus is not impossible to get.|
|2. Is your system unstable? Of course, no operating system is perfect, and people who tell you that theirs can never ever crash are lying. However, some operating systems can be so stable that most users never see their systems crash, even after several years. This is true for Linux. Here’s a good way to see this. When a system crashes, it needs to be shut down or restarted. Therefore, if your computer can stay up and running for a long time, no matter how much you use it, then you can say the system is stable.|
|Well, Linux can run for yearswithout needing to be restarted (most internet servers run Linux, and they usually never restart). Of course, with heavy updates, it still needs to be restarted (the proper way). But if you install Linux, and then use your system as much as you want, leaving your computer on all the time, you can go on like that for years without having any trouble.|
|3. Linux protects your computer.
Viruses, trojans, adwares, spywares… Windows lets all these enter your computer pretty easily. The average period of time before a Windows PC (connected to the Internet and with a default “Service Pack 2” installation) gets infected is 40 minutes (and it sometimes takes as little time as 30 seconds).
|4. Don’t pay 7000 for your operating system.
You’re probably saying to yourself : “Oh, I didn’t pay for Windows”. Are you absolutely sure ? If your computer came with a copy of Windows, then you paid for it, even if the store didn’t tell you about that. On the other hand, you can get Linux completely free of charge. That’s right, all these guys all around the world worked very hard to make a neat, secure, efficient, good-looking system, and they are giving their work away for everybody to use freely
Linux and “Open Source” software are “free“. This means their license is a “free license”, and the most common is the GPL (General Public License). This license states that anyone is allowed to copy the software, see the source code (the “recipe”), modify it, and redistribute it as long as it remains licensed with the GPL.
|6. When the system has installed, why would you still need to install stuff? With Linux you get (almost) all your softwares when you finish installing Linux on your system. Office & Productivity packages, Media Players, PIM, Web Browser, email client, Web server, database server are few to name.|
|7. Update all your software with a single click.
Linux has a central place called the “Package manager”, which takes care of everything installed on your system, but also every single piece of software your computer has. So if you want to keep everything up-to-date, the only thing you need to do is press the “Install Updates” button down there.
|8. Why copy software illegally if you can get it for free?
If you run Linux and install free software, you won’t have to worry usign pirated software ever again! Most of free (as in free speech) software is free (as in free beer). You can find a free replacement for most of the commercial software out there. They might lack some of the advanced functionnality, but they’ll be more than enough for most people.
|9. Jump into the next generation of desktops.
You have been impressed by the 3D and transparency possibilities first introduced in Windows Vista, and decided that these unique capabilities were worth a few hundred dollars? You even bought a new computer so that you could meet Vista’s (very high) requirements? Fooled you: Linux can do better, for free, and with much less demanding hardware requirements.
|10. Choose what your desktop looks like.|
|11. Why does your Windows get slower day after day?
Windows has a number of design flaws, resulting in it becoming slower and slower and not lasting very long. You’ve probably heard more than once someone say “My computer is getting sluggish, I’m gonna reinstall”. Reinstalling Windows solves the problem… until next time.
|12. Enjoy free and unlimited support.
One of the great assets of the Open Source community (and Linux in particular), is that it’s a real community. Users and developers really are out there, on web forums, on mailing lists, on IRC channels, helping out new users. They’re all happy to see more and more people switch to Linux, and they’re happy to help them get a grip on their new system.
|13. Use MSN, AIM, ICQ, Jabber, with a single program.
You may have accounts for several instant messaging services, such as MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, Jabber, AIM, etc. While running Windows or Mac OS X, you probably need one program to connect to each one of those : MSN Messenger for MSN, ICQ for ICQ, etc.
|With Pidgin, the instant messenger for Linux (it exists for Windows as well, and for Mac OS X with the name “Adium”), you can connect to all these services at once, with this one program, and see all your buddies at the same time.|
|14. Too many windows?
Use workspaces. Workspaces is a feature I would never trade for anything else. You probably only have one screen, right? Try Linux, and you have four. Well, you can’t actually look at the four of them at the same time, but this doesn’t matter since your eyes can’t look in two directions at once, right? On the first screen, lets put your word processor.
|On the second one, your instant messenger software. On the third one, your web browser. So when you’re writing something in your word processor and you want to check out something on the web, no need to review all your windows to find your browser, stacked all the way behind the others. You just switch to your third screen and voilà, here it is.|
|15. Don’t wait years for bugs to be solved, report and track them down.|
|16. Are you tired of restarting your computer all the time?|
|Have you just upgraded one or two little things on your Windows system with “Windows update”? Please reboot. Have you just installed some new software? Please reboot. Does your system seem unstable? Try to reboot, everything will probably work better after that.|
|Windows always asks you to restart your computer, and that can be annoying (maybe you happen to have a long download going on, and you don’t want to interrupt it just because you updated a few pieces of your system).|
|But even if you click “Restart later”, Windows still keeps bothering you every ten minutes to let you know that you really should restart the computer. And if you happen to be away from your computer and you didn’t see the question, it will happily reboot automatically. Bye bye long download.|
|Linux basically doesn’t need to restart. Whether you install new software (even very big programs) or perform routine upgrades for your system, you will not be asked to restart the computer. It is only necessary when a part from the heart of the system has been updated, and that only happens once every several weeks.|
|17. Play hundreds of games for free.
18. Help other countries, and your own.
19. Get a great music player.
|There are a lot of other reasons too and all I can say is Just Try Linux for 15 days and you’ll never turn to Windows.|
|Who should not use Linux?|
|1. There are some softwares, that are simply not available for Linux Platform Until recently, many software publishers considered the software market for Linux to be too small to bother releasing software for it. Though this is beginning to change, most proprietary software does not run within Linux.|
|That being said, there are several Open Source programs that can replace these “essential” proprietary ones. Give these programs a try; they often release Windows versions, which you can use right now. Take a look at their screenshots and feature lists, and see if they satisfy your needs.|
|If there is a piece of software that you absolutely cannot work without, then keeping Windows is probably a good choice. However, you can have both operating systems installed (often called “dual-booting”), which can be used to suit your needs.|
|There is also a project called “Wine” which, in some cases, is capable of running a given Windows application in Linux. You can visit their homepage, which includes listings of compatible software, at www.wineHQ.org. Another option available is to emulate Windows itself within Linux, though this is typically not suitable for running high-performance programs.|
|2. You are a Hardcore Gamer|
|Most games are compatible with Windows, and nothing else. Some of them have Mac versions, and some of them have Linux versions (Quake 4, Neverwinter Nights, etc.), but most of them just run on Windows.|
|So if you spend a lot of time playing recent games, you should stick to Windows. But you can still install Linux, keep Windows , and use both of them, depending on your needs.|
|3. You are in Printing, Book or Graphics Design Profession Linux software still has very experimental CMYK features. This is getting better, but it’s not really satisfying for professional use yet.|
|While most books and magazines about free software switched to Linux a long time ago (and don’t they look great ?!), if you work in the printing industry and use a lot of CMYK colors, with subtle images, special printing effects, etc., you probably should stick to Windows for now. But you can still install Linux, keep Windows (see the install section), and use both of them, depending on your needs.|