While you might be happy with your computer the way it is right now, did you know that you could take steps to optimize your performance further? While this might not be the best option for everybody, Linux is definitely something you should look into and consider using.
What Is Linux?
Linux is no different from Windows or Mac OS in terms of what it does. They all have one thing in common: They are all operating systems. An operating system is a piece of software that manages communication between your software and your hardware. Basically, what it does is take the information from your keyboard and mouse and uses that information to command your computer to perform different actions. Except for a few key differences, Linux performs the same actions as Windows does.
Linux was originally designed by Finnish student Linus Torvalds. However, since it was open source, many users and organizations have modified and created their own distributions of Linux. These ‘distros’ are customized to fit the needs of whatever device it is being implemented in. Therefore, it is important to choose the right distro in order to suit your own needs.
Whether you like it or not, Linux is everywhere. It is on your phone (Android), TV, Roku, and even some cars. It runs everything, from the stock exchange to supercomputers plotting to take over humanity. You’ll probably never see a smart car that uses Windows 10 as its OS. Linux is necessary for these devices because, without it, there would be no way for the user to control the software within.
Should You Switch To Linux?
While you will see many websites on the internet that push you further towards making the change to Linux, I think that not all users might not benefit from the switch. Users that are not skilled at troubleshooting errors might find that using Linux can be frustrating because it requires a deeper understanding of how the system underneath works to perform simple tasks. Also, while Windows comes with hundreds of books documenting every aspect of the operating system, Linux does not come with much support. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t start using Linux though; take a look at the advantages and disadvantages below and decide whether it is right for you yourself.
Advantages Of Linux:
- It’s free. For the very cheap price of $0.00 (Internet connection not included), you can download Linux and get it running. Unlike Microsoft Windows, which requires a pricey license key to activate, Linux requires no such license key and can run on your computer for free.
- It’s secure. Linux is known to be extremely secure and reliable. Instead of focusing on user-friendliness, it focuses on management, security, and uptime.
- Open source: Surprise, surprise! This operating system is open source and is free to download and modify(at your own risk). What’s so good about this? If you ever find a security issue or something that you’d like to change and are proficient in common programming languages, you can take the source code and modify it to your taste. Also, by taking a look at the source code, you can find out if the developers have hidden any information gathering “features” within your operating system.
- It’s good for bringing old computers back to life. Do you an old, one-inch thick laptop in your closet that you don’t want to throw out? Well, here’s some good news: there are plenty of lightweight versions of Linux that you can download on that laptop, and it will work as good as new!
- It’s powerful: Linux includes tons of commands that you can use in order to accomplish tasks in the operating system. In other operating systems, you might have to go through multiple menus in order to do something simple.
Disadvantages Of Linux:
- It requires some knowledge of computing. Linux focuses more on productivity and power rather than user-friendliness, and as a result, it is not as user-friendly as other operating systems. You will have to memorize commands and know about file types in order to find it comfortable for you.
- It’s not compatible with as much software. Since Windows is so popular, software developers tend to write more software for it. Although sometimes you can find a program or file that is cross-compatible with Linux, don’t be expecting to be able to play Fortnite on your computer without a few modifications.
- Support: Microsoft owns Windows. Microsoft is big. Microsoft inevitably provides more customer support than Linux. While you might be able to get a 24/7 voice chat for troubleshooting your Windows system, you are usually limited to YouTube videos and Forum posts when it comes to fixing Linux.
- Drivers: This is a big issue. Most hardware manufacturers don’t keep Linux in mind when designing and writing drivers. As a result, many devices may be incompatible for your computer. Bought that new mouse with 10 customization buttons? Make sure it’s compatible with Linux, or get ready to install third-party software and get your hands dirty in terminal commands.
What OS do I use? I use Linux, mostly because I think having that extra room for modifications is great. Although software from windows isn’t always directly compatible with my OS, I can usually fiddle around and make things happen. It’s a great software for power-hungry users, as I can usually have dozens of applications running at one time. What type of computer user are you? Linux or Windows? Leave your opinion in the comments.
You can view and download many Linux distributions on this website: www.linux.org.
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