Half the world is using Linux and you still might have never heard of it. Linux is a Free Operating System which is faster, more stable and secure than other operating systems. You might have heard of Linux but still not sure about using it. Well you don’t have to install Linux to give it a try, just burn it on a USB, boot from it and you will have a fully functional Operating System without even installing it or you are one of those who might have tried Linux in the past but still not sure if Linux is any better than others. Well, be assured, it is. Let me explain in three simple points and I am sure you will reconsider Linux at the end of article if you are not already using it.
1. Linux is FREE
FreeLinux is free and will always be. Technically it is fundamentally free but most of the times it is actually free as in a free beer. So you are not just getting the operating system for free but also all the necessary software is coming with Linux and even that is free. Unlike Windows where you have to pay US $200 for the Operating System just to know that you have to pay another 220$ for an office program, Linux comes with all the required applications for free including the Office application.
You might be thinking why anyone sane will give away an entire Operating System for free ? Well, for that you have to understand how Linux is made. Linux is not made by a group of employees being paid by cash rich companies, it is made collaboratively. Thousands of contributers around the globe along with giants like Red Hat, IBM, Intel and others work collaboratively with Linux Foundation to develop Linux.
So while thousands of people are working on Linux, Linux Foundation is giving it away for FREE. Linux Foundation earns through donations and through membership programs where companies like Intel, IBM, Samsung, Hp and many other join Linux Foundation to further develop Linux for their customized needs.
2. Linux is more secure
Linux SecureSecurity is the most debatable thing when we compare two Operating Systems, so let us start with a comparison. Virus, Spywares and Trojans, we always think Windows when we think of any of them. A study in 2008 discovered that a newly installed Windows can get infected in less than 40 minuted after going online and even sooner if you have a USB drive lying around. To protect Windows you can use a Firewall along with an antivirus program, keep Windows up to date and still can’t be sure if you are protected.
Linux on other hand is less prone to malware not because it is less famous among home users but because Linux is more secure. Malware writers don’t write malware for fun these days, they mean business. Most of the global financial and banking systems runs Linux and there cannot be a better target other than Linux for financial gains but we rarely hear any major bank or stock exchange being hacked. Microsoft Windows is an easy target and that is the reason Security Experts prefer Linux over Windows globally.
Linux is more secure because Linux is Free and Open. Everyone can see the code and find security flaws but it doesn’t matter how many flaws are discovered what matters is how fast the security flaw is fixed. Linux has thousands of volunteers working along with giants like Linux Foundation, Red Hat, IBM and Intel which results in a security flaw fixed in few days, sometimes in hours. On other hand Microsoft tries to keep the Security flaws confidential unless it is made public by some third party and even after that Microsoft takes months to fix those flaws which is pretty obvious as few hundred Microsoft employees stands no chance when compared to thousand of people working on Linux.
3. Linux gives you Freedom
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Open Source softwares like Linux are free which means their license is a free license and the most common one is GPL 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. When you use Linux, it is yours. You can share it with your friends, use it at home or office, modify the code and change anything as you wish.
You don’t have to depend on a particular software as all the free softwares are compatible with each other unlike Windows where a document created in Microsoft Office cannot be opened in other software and if it does it does not open correctly. Microsoft invest a lot of resources in propriety formats so that the formats cannot be reverse engineered i.e excel file created in Microsoft Excel cannot be opened in other softwares and even it does, not all the content is displayed correctly. Imagine if Microsoft keep increasing Office prices by $100 every month and if you cannot live without office you have to pay the price. On other hand Office in Linux is Free and all the free office softwares uses the same ODF format which is an Open format, you can even open Microsoft formats like ppt, xls and docx in Linux.
Linux gives you freedom in shaping your desktop as you please unlike Windows where you have to stick to the same old start menu or new Metro screen. With Linux, choice has been brought back to you. You’re no longer forced to accept the one-and-only way to manage multiple windows, you are free to choose from many desktop environments available or you can use specific applications to pimp your desktop.