This article is part of our ongoing series aimed at teaching the everyday Windows users about Linux, providing reasons to switch, and helping people making the switch.
It has been awhile since I have written an article dotTech and I must say I missed it. Today, as my comeback article, I am here to tell you why you should switch to Linux. Read on to learn more.
I want to make a confession to you, I was a closet Linux user for many years. I would hide my screen from curious eyes scared of questions I would have to answer and frankly I wanted to avoid getting mad defending my philosophical beliefs.
My confession fits well into this article because I wanted to introduce you a multi-part series on the subject of transitioning to Linux. This series will be written in plain and simple English and hopefully inspire you to make the plunge into a world unlike any other.
Before we dive into the common questions like what distribution you should use or apt-get is, we need to talk about the benefits of Linux and why you should consider using it.
Linux is a free and open source operating platform; millions of people around globe are always coding and testing changes to improve the software and the system. Comparatively, proprietary operating systems like Windows and Mac are closed and often have less people working on it. There are, of course, pros and cons of being open source and pros and cons of being closed source. Let’s talk about why I feel Linux is better than the first.
One of biggest bonuses to using Linux is that it is almost virus free. That’s right you read that correctly. There are two reasons why Linux is almost virus free.
The first reason is, there are simply less viruses that target Linux and less malicious scumbags creating Linux viruses than Windows or even Mac (which can actually be considered a Linux distro, if you look at its history). Why are there less viruses targeting Linux? Probably because there are less consumers using Linux than Windows, which means malware creators get less bang for the buck, so to speak. True, there are many servers that run Linux and infecting a server with malware is the holy grail for scumbags. However, targeting and infecting servers with malware is significantly harder than targeting and infecting consumer machines, which is why you see so many attacks on Windows.
The second reason is, Linux is by design more safe to use than Windows. Without diving into the complex programmer jabber, Linux does not by default allow any user to be a system administrator. In many distributions you will run a programme with evaluated privileges through another tool called “sudo” meaning any and all applications that access high risk sectors of system will need the root (admin) password (this is somewhat similar to “User Account Access Control (UAC)” introduced in Vista). This complex system renders malicious code useless since it can’t run as admin and removes the need for you waste resources on an anti-virus. That’s right no anti-virus to update, no license to buy and no looking over your digital shoulder for scary viruses and hackers. (Although, keep in mind, Linux is not immune to platform-independent attacks — like phishing.)
If that wasn’t enough, as I may have mentioned before, Linux is completely free to download and use and so is most of the software that runs on Linux. You will never have to pay to upgrade to a newer version of Linux (or, more specifically, newer version of the Linux distribution you are using). You will never have to buy Microsoft Office or worry about license keys again. Your system won’t treat you like a thief and won’t call home to validate your license, you’re just trusted and your privacy is respected. Most of the time anyway — there are some proprietary software and distros on Linux that behave like Windows, but by and large most Linux distros and software are not this way.
Another advantage is customization. Linux gives you complete control, you are able to control every aspect of the system. You will be able to control the appearance as well as which processes are running. You might be a power user of Windows and are saying to yourself, but “I can control the appearance with themes” and you would be right, but Linux customization is far beyond themes and fonts.
A few other benefits include:
Runs fast and stays fast
Works great on legacy (older) hardware and supports newer hardware
Super-dooper fast boot speeds
Many flavours or distributions (versions of Linux) available for you to pick from
That being said, thank you for the warm welcome back and check back soon for the next part in the series, which will cover the basics of the Linux operating system and how to switch. I promise it will be fun. Oh and if you disagree with the reasons I give above or if you have other reasons, post a comment below and let us know. Enjoy!