New to Linux? Wondering what it is all about?
Linux is an operating system for computers.
Microsoft Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 are also operating systems for computers.
A computer (the tin box) will not work without an operating system installed.
Historically, MicroSoft operating systems have always been bundled with the PC, and included in the price, so you did not realise that you had in fact paid for the operating system.
However, if you visit your local computer shop and ask to buy XP, Vista or Windows 7, you will become aware of the price. Also, the price you pay only allows you to install the operating system on one computer.
Linux is completely free of charge and can be installed on as many computers as you need.
Why use it?
Using Linux is a choice.
Just as there are hundreds of Linux distributions, there could be just as many reasons to use it.
Do you want to run a system that is immune to Windows security exploits?
Use any Linux. [or an Apple 😉
[Another reason to use Linux?…99.4 percent of malware is aimed at Windows users – Full story]
Do you want a computer that starts up (boots) in 10-15 seconds?
Try Xpud or Moblin. (for netooks)
Do you want a system small enough to carry around in your wallet on a credit card CD?
Try Slitaz,tinycore or Puppy
Do you want to install on hardware other than an X86 PC?
Can you not afford to buy 50 Microsoft Licences for the computers you have just had donated?
You can install Linux free on as many computers as you want.
Do you want to replace your old MS servers, but can’t afford the new licenses?
Linux excels, (dominates even) in the server arena. It is free, or you can pay for support if required.
Do you want enterprise grade software but can not afford Red hat support? – Use Cent OS for free.
The list and the choices go on.
Choices from the O’Reilly online catalogue:-
Top 5 reasons on softpedia:-
Ten things Techrepublic think are important:-
From Linux-watch, 5 reasons [NOT] to use Linux 😉
Moving from Windows to Linux: IBM Guide:-
Here are a few choices I make.
For financial transactions, I turn my computer off, then restart it with a linux ‘live CD’ in the drive. I can now access my account fairly safe in the knowledge that there is no trojan/virus/keylogger harvesting my account details.
Unlimited choice at no financial cost. Or to put it another way, I can play with as many different versions of Linux as I choose without spending any money.
This is great if you are interested in operating systems, but probably more of a problem if you are just trying to figure out what to use.
I do not use Linux (or windows) exclusively.
Computers and ‘gadgets’ in general are tools to get a job done, if they do the job, the OS (operating system) may not need to be considered.
I don’t suppose many people consider what OS their mobile phone uses. Or if you have a broadband router, it could well be running the Linux OS, but that may not be of any interest or matter to you as long as it carries on working.
If you are completely new to computers, and you go on a course at the Library, college, or community centre, chances are that you will be taught using the Microsoft Windows OS unless you go out of your way to find Linux training.