10 Reasons to Switch to Linux

1. It Doesn't Crash

Linux has been time-proven to be a reliable operating system. Although the desktop is not a new place for Linux, most Linux-based systems have been used as servers and embedded systems. High-visibility Web sites such as Google use Linux-based systems, but you also can find Linux inside the TiVo set-top box in many livingrooms.

Linux has proved to be so reliable and secure that it is commonly found in dedicated firewall and router systems used by high-profile companies to secure their networks. For more than ten years, it has not been uncommon for Linux systems to run for months or years without needing a single reboot.

2. Viruses Are Few and Far Between

Although it is possible to create a virus to target Linux systems, the design of the system itself makes it very difficult to become infected. A single user could cause local damage to his or her files by running a virus on his or her system; however, this would be an isolated instance rather than something could spread out of control.

In addition, virtually all Linux vendors offer free on-line security updates. The general philosophy of the Linux community has been to address possible security issues before they become a problem rather than hoping the susceptibility will go unnoticed.

3. Virtually Hardware-Independent

Linux was designed and written to be easily portable to different hardware. For the desktop user, this means that Linux has been and likely always will be the first operating system to take advantage of advances in hardware technology such as AMD's 64-bit processor chips.

4. Freedom of Choice

Linux offers freedom of choice as far as which manufacturer you purchase the software from as well as which application programs you wish to use. Being able to pick the manufacturer means you have a real choice as far as type of support you receive. Being open-source software, new manufacturers can enter the market to address customer needs.

Choice of application programs means that you can select the tools that best address your needs. For example, three popular word processors are available. All three are free and interoperate with Microsoft Word, but each offers unique advantages and disadvantages. The same is true of Web browsers.

5. Standards

Linux itself and many common applications follow open standards. This means an update on one system will not make other systems obsolete.

6. Applications, Applications, Applications

Each Linux distribution comes with hundreds and possibly thousands of application programs included. This alone can save you thousands of dollars for each desktop system you configure. Although this is a very small subset, consider that the OpenOffice.org office suite is included as well as the GIMP, a program similar to (and many people say more capable than Adobe Photoshop); Scribus, a document layout program similar to Quark Xpress; Evolution, an e-mail system equivalent to Microsoft's Outlook Express; and hundreds more.

For the more technically inclined, development tools, such as compilers for the C, C++, Ada, Fortran, Pascal and other languages, are included as well as Perl, PHP and Python interpreters. Editors and versioning tools also are included in this category.

Whether you are looking for Instant Messaging clients, backup tools or Web site development packages, they likely are all included within your base Linux distribution.

7. Interoperability

More and more computers are being connected to networks. No system would be complete if it did not include tools to allow it to interoperate with computers running other operating systems. Once again, Linux is very strong in this area.

Linux includes Samba, software that allows Linux to act as a client on a Microsoft Windows-based network. In fact, Samba includes server facilities such that you could run a Linux system as the server for a group of Linux and Windows-based client systems.

In addition, Linux includes software to network with Apple networks and Novell's Netware. NFS, the networking technology developed on UNIX systems also is included.

8. It's a Community Relationship, Not a Customer Relationship

Other operating systems are the products of single vendors. Linux, on the other hand, is openly developed, and this technology is shared among vendors. This means you become part of a community rather than a customer of a single manufacturer. Also, the supplier community easily can adjust to the needs of various user communities rather than spouting a "one size fits all" philosophy.

This means you can select a Linux vendor that appears to best address your needs and feel confident that you could switch vendors at a later time without losing your investment--both in terms of costs and learning.

9. It's Not How Big Your Processor Is...

Because of a combination of the internal design of Linux and development contributions from a diverse community, Linux tends to be more frugal in the use of computer resources. This may manifest itself in a single desktop system running faster with Linux than with another operating system, but the advantages go far beyond that. It is possible, for example, to configure a single Linux system to act as a terminal server and then use outdated hardware as what are called thin clients.

This server/thin client configuration makes it possible for older, less powerful hardware to share the resources of a single powerful system thus extending the life of older machines.

10. Linux Is Configurable

Linux is a true multi-user operating system. Each user can have his or her own individual configuration all on one computer. This includes the look of the desktop, what icons are displayed, what programs are started automatically when the user logs in and even what language the desktop is in.

Web Editor - Wed, 2005-03-09 09:17.
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switching to Linux

I have had very little trouble getting used to Linux as long as the Hardware I have is compatable and supported. Yes the motherboards and processors are not a problem, but I am dissapointed that I will have to buy a scanner that is supported by sane and supprised that not every network card will respond to Linux. This represents cost that is not often talked about.

chas (not verified) - Sun, 2005-05-01 01:56.

> This represents cost that i

> This represents cost that is not often talked about.

Yes, not talked about by the vendors who don't support Linux.

An - ymous (not verified) - M - , 2005-05-02 18:53.

But more importantly, not

But more importantly, not talked about in this TUX Magazine article that we're posting comments about!!!

An - ymous (not verified) - Tue, 2006-01-03 21:04.

Back to the Beginning

In my own opinion, people are having problems trying to make the switch from windows to linux simply becuase they never really learned the basics of the OS. When you look at the two command lines, for example, they are actually pretty similar in the way they actually communicate with the computer. You have a command, a flag, and a target directory or file. I think it was easier for me to start using linux when I would switch between the two and use the command prompts. I suppose linux is most interesting to me in the way that most often it is easier or faster to force yourself to go back to the basics. Also, it allows you to actually see what your computer's hardware is doing, minus the bells and whistles of the GUI. But anyway, I look forward to TUX's future and would like to thank those who volunteer their time and effort to keeping this OS alive.

Chad (not verified) - Wed, 2005-04-20 23:50.

RE: 8. It's a Community Relationship, Not a Customer Relationshi

This might seem like an unusual remark, but I've been using Linux for about 10 years now and I find myself more and more put off by how the community is continuously spending more and more time trying to entice the corporate world. In the beginning, I considered this a great thing, and I still realize the significance of building relationships with the corporate world, but it becomes annoying watching so many former community environments change over to become corporate evironments. It's nearly to the point that I view Linux and Windows in the same regard, despite the many differences.

With that said, this is a reason why TUX magazine is a great idea and something I look forward to in the future. I hope the "community relationship" continues to grow and we see more efforts like this one. Congratulations on a great magazine!

rogun (not verified) - Tue, 2005-04-12 03:59.

May be...

I'm proud to use linux, I like the ten facts posted here, I'm only dissapoint with the "9. It's Not How Big Your Processor Is..." because is redacted like a anti-bussiness argument. May be is best to say "LINUX IS BETTER USING YOUR NEW PROCESSOR" because the PC industry will have a better perspective of our intentions... we dont want to stop the development of faster processors... we want to encourage them AND to have all the real adavantages of it! I dont want to spend my money in the last processor and use it with the nasty M$ Windoze! NOT... I want to spend my money in the last processor and use it with a real good software OS: Linux, BSD or even the OpenSolaris! Do you got it? The new processors run better whit a better OS, an opensource OS!!!

An - ymous (not verified) - Tue, 2005-04-12 01:21.

Not what was meant

The article doesn't mean businesses that make their money from computers, it means businesses running Windows on their computers and servers who have to buy new equipment every time Microsoft releases a new version of Windows.

MAdMaN (not verified) - Fri, 2005-04-29 15:53.

Re: 10 Reasons to Switch to Linux

I am using Linux for quite a while now. Last Windows distro I've used on my machine was Win98 SE, then it was RedHat 6.0, 7.2, and, finally, Slackware 8.1 and 10. Well, what can I cay about this article...

I agree with the most things. Yes, I do think that Linux is friendlier (not as in "user friendly interface" in MS terminology, but in terms of developer-user relationship), more stable and much more customizable. However, I would have to disagree about the virus issue. Unfortunately (I would be more than happy to be wrong!), the system does have security issues, just as any operating system, and the percentage of total users is significant. I remember how some 10 years ago it was a common thing to believe that viruses will die with DOS, and Windows, which runs in a protected mode and has different architecture, cannot have viruses by definition. So, I believe that it will not take a lot more than time to make this myth fade, if not disappear. Now, I do think that with the open development scheme Linux has it will be a lot easier to find solutions to problems. Ultimately, you can fix it yourself, if you know how ;)

As for tons of applications... Yes, there are so many apps for Linux, and the vast majority of them are free, but quantity is not quality. Unfortunately, from my own experience with audio/MIDI related software, I must tell that often the open source software loses to the proprietary "brothers" a great deal. Maybe, some day the situation will improve, and I hope it will be soon, because there is no way I am going back to MS - and there are numerous reasons for that. Of course, my hat is off to all the people that are daring to do something that is usually done for a good salary, for free... maybe it's just me, who cannot figure out how to use it? :) I hope so.

And, finally, about the accessibility of Linux to the Windows users. Yes, I have to admit it, in many cases the interface of Linux is far from being comfortable for a Windows user, and I spent quite some time to get used to it. On the other hand, now, after a few years of using Linux, I just can't work efficiently without an xterm and vim, and when I have to work with Windows (I work as a network assistant for students in a college), I feel like my hands are tied together :) As for new users, there are numerous books for beginners, but a few of them are really good - well, I guess, here you can only try and find out, which one is the best for you. I personally would search through O'Reilly publications, as they have lots of very good technical literature (this is not an advertisement, and I don't work for them ;))

Good luck and happy Tux'ing :)

Alex (not verified) - Thu, 2005-04-07 21:51.

Re: Re: 10 Reasons to Switch

Re: Re: 10 Reasons to Switch to Linux
What your saying about Windows users not feeling comfortable with Linux is, unfortunately, definitely true, but here is a fourteen year old that feels more comfortable with Linux. Are there not more like me? I certainly hope so!

An - ymous (not verified) - Fri, 2005-07-15 15:29.

help

I am new to this field, but I really want to swith to Linux os, I am ready to learn what ever it takes, how to operate Linux os.
I tried to install Linux twice.
-downloading from the internet, did not work and when I went to the store to buy a set of cd I found so many that I could not decide which one do I need.
Can you tell me how did you installed it.
Thank You

Miguel (not verified) - Sun, 2005-04-10 06:28.

Go to http://www.distrowatch.

Go to http://www.distrowatch.com You will find lots of info there. There are links where you can buy listro packs. Good Luck.

An - ymous (not verified) - Wed, 2005-04-27 18:14.

How to get Linux

I install, advise, give away, demo, in Comp USA, Costco, Circuit City, Office chains, Wal Mart, and trade shows, flea markets, computer shows, over 1500 instances of GNU/Linux per annum. I am a 58 year old Cryptographic Systems Technician, retired from the US Air Force. I have endorsed Linux on the desktop, in the Enterprise, and in business offices, since 1997, when I became disgusted with the proprietary restraints and the imposed 'compliance' controls, of Microsoft, Apple, and others, who would hold the consumer hostage to their technology dole.

Folks as young as 4 and as old as 93 have been on computers with Knoppix, under my tutelege, because they wanted to try to see what Linux it is all about! Here's what I have learned:
1. Linux is more secure "out of the box", than is any Microsoft product, after your amateurish attempts to secure that Microsoft product.
2. Linux will run on almost any old computer that you would otherwise dispose of in the watershed. Linux is "GREEN", recycles well, and, Linux has GAMES!
3. Linux is smooter, faster, more stable, and includes a huge quantity of applications, suites, that are functionally complete, and user friendly.
4. Linux costs the user, whether a person, or a business, less! Less time, resources, money, are needed to install, secure, and operate Open Source GNU/Linux, than the proprietary Operating Systems (Microsoft, MAC OSX, Linspire, etc.).

Rules for newbies:
First: PULEEZE! Run a LiveCD version and see if there are issues, with your hardware!!! Get it here: http://knopper.net/knoppix (and, check out the forums!)

Second: Find a friendly guru, or any Linux Users Group here: http://lugww.counter.li.org to help you over the rough spots... YES, some learning is involved! How much, is up to you! Installfests are FUN!

Third: You can try over 233 LiveCDs, based upon Debian, BSD, and other OSes... http://livecdlist.com and, over 450 different OSes that you might get confused just analyzing! Read about the top 100 at http://distrowatch.com

Don't forget that you can get info, answers, help, with a simple search of http://google.com/linux quickly, 24/7/365, because, Google RUNS Linux!

Patrick (not verified) - Sat, 2005-04-23 10:48.

Re: help

Hi,
I don't want to start a "This distro is better than that distro Flame war) all linux distros are good because well simply they are linux. But as for most Mandriva (Formerly Mandrake) Linux is about the easiest distro for the new user to get started with. Very nice GUI and installer that is top notch.

http://www1.mandrivalinux.com/en-us/ ( You can read about it here )

and you can download the Iso's here: http://www1.mandrivalinux.com/en/ftp.php3

I would also like to say to stick with the 10.1 download. The 2005 download is nice but I had lots of problems with it...

A further thought I would reccomend also playing with different LIVE Version CD's these are distro's that RUN from CD and let you "Test Drive" a flavor of linux before installng it. there are a few limitations and drawbacks to this.. *Not going to go into them here* But also the one big benefit of a live version will be to let you know if you are going to have many graphical problems or if all your hardware detects properly. and it lets you get a feel for the version without having to fully install....

With that said, I am also a newbie to linux I finally chose mandriva after testing many different flavors.. So if you decide on Mandriva I will try to help you as much as possible. Drop me a line and I will see what, we can get accomplished. :)

OldToker

OldToker (not verified) - Sun, 2005-04-17 08:15.

all linux distros are good because well simply they are linux

"all linux distros are good because well simply they are linux"

I ran slackware 10.1 , until windows killed my partition table for having linux on the same hard drive (Its obviously more complicated then that).
Actually... Linspire is slightly less secure because of all the accounts having administrative access by default, similar to an M$ product I've been forced to use for now. (Of course, its slightly nicer with StyleXP). read this:

"There is one Linux distribution that is ignoring many years of common sense, good design, and an awareness of secure operating environments in favor of a Microsoft-like deprecation of security before the nebulous term "ease of use": Lindows. By default, Lindows runs the user of the system as root (and it even encourages the user to forgo setting up a root password during installation by labeling it as "optional"!), an unbelievably shortsighted decision that results in a Linux box with the same security as a Windows 9.x machine." ---

its all at
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/10/06/linux_vs_windows_viruses/

Lunarcloud (not verified) - Wed, 2005-05-04 17:04.

Please don't get me wrong, fo

Please don't get me wrong, for an average beginner, easy distros are great, but to the true gurus nothing is better to learn on than gentoo (if you have someone to help you.) It teaches you a lot about KDE and bash how to use the shell very effectively. I learned with Gentoo, and I am very happy that I did. I am also very happy that I had several cousins that use Linux.

An - ymous (not verified) - Fri, 2005-07-15 15:36.

Miguel: You dont need to ins

Miguel:
You dont need to install it at first time! try SimplyMepis, is a live CD, you can use it, learn for it, and when you need it you can install it. May be you can try more live-install cds like Kanotix, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, etc. Go to www.distrowatch.com and learn about many others.
If you need it here is my email: randolfocartesio@walla.com
Best regards!

An - ymous (not verified) - Tue, 2005-04-12 01:09.

Slax ROCKS!

I tried the SimplyMepis. It's not too bad but I really recommend Slax if you're a noob easing into Linux for the first time. It's the best Live CD distro available. It doesn't have a lot of worthless "fluff" options like so many other Live CDs I've tired. The "Kill Bill" edition is only 188Meg and has utilities for running Windows applications (if you really need to). I've had it up and running on an old Compaq 166Mhz Pent 1 slug for about 4 months now and it's smoking fast. I use it for instant messaging, an MP3 player, telnet sessions, and a temp http server.

crtplague (not verified) - Wed, 2005-07-27 03:02.

SimplyMepis

Gotta agree there An -ymous. I just installed SimplyMepis and got my Wireless G card running just fine with ndiswrapper (gotta love that command) 1st day on my new OS and already I see just how nice Linux can be.

HeyNotThere (not verified) - Sat, 2005-04-30 22:06.

Recent Migrant

I am a true "newbie" to Linux. About 2 months now, at first I gave Windows Xp the 80gb majority of my computer and Linux about 30gb. Last friday night I switched it to 80gb for Linux and 30gb for windows. In my limited experience I have found that...

Linux boots up and is ready to go much quicker than Windows.

It is far more stable than windows xp, I find it humorous that instead of a blue screen of death that windows simply calls the reboot command at the first sign of trouble.

The variety of free software that is provided with Linux is often better than the pay programs that you are restricted to with Windows.

I don't have to have resource hogging software, such as an anti-virus, and multiple anti-spy programs. I do use ClamAv a free anti-virus to check incoming email only. It only runs when checking email and many in the Linux community have told me I have a better chance of winning the lottery than getting a virus. But, old habit...hard to break.

Speaking of Spy-Ware I now don't have to worry about it, which is one of the main reason why I switched. After spending three days with the help of professionals trying to remove the latest CoolWeb search program and finally giving up to reformat. I had, had enough.

Linux and gaming, this seems to be a weak spot, almost a sore spot, with Linux, and community members at various forums rather rudely told me to stick with windows for this. Linux runs ut2004, doom3, tribes2, baldurs gate, neverwinter nights, not to mention a host of freeware and mods. Enough to keep me busy, and with quake 4, ut200?, and many other games on the way, with a dedication to selling games on multiple platforms. Things are looking up.

I chose Mandrake a distro that is beginner friendly. There is something about Linux that I really like. I can't put my finger on everything. However, I like the fact that Big Brother Microsoft with his looming tcpa, will hopefully not effect me. I like the fact that it simply "works". I like the fact that you can put it on a live cd and take it everywhere with you, simply save changes on a thumbdrive. I like the fact that I am no longer tied to one program, with only one set of choices, I like that I can try multiple programs and choose which is best for me. You can do this without investing a dime. This way of thinking, make me feel comfortable, with contributing to a project.

I have experience in web design, computer repair, computer building, and programming in C++, JAVA, COBOL and Assembler. For more than 15 years now, I have suffered through the constraints of windows, and now when I get a service call to fix someones bug riddled, virus infected, spyware crippled machine. I almost laugh.

I have converted many friends and a couple customers (the ones I like, still need windows to have a job :) and with miminal help getting their Linux legs they are now as happy as me.

{KFP}KezzerDrix (not verified) - M - , 2005-04-04 08:11.

Actually, it's a good thing

Actually, it's a good thing you use it to check your email. Because you're immune to Windows viruses doesn't mean your friends/family are, and you could accidently slip an infected file to them and never know you did it. ;)

vk (not verified) - Thu, 2006-10-05 17:18.

What's sense to laugh?

I have experience in web design, computer repair, computer building, and programming in C++, JAVA, COBOL and Assembler. For more than 15 years now, I have suffered through the constraints of windows, and now when I get a service call to fix someones bug riddled, virus infected, spyware crippled machine. I almost laugh.

What's sense to laugh? Everybody does his work.

Flymix (not verified) - Sun, 2006-01-29 16:42.

Less bile and more info would be most excellent

You ever listen to two top quality sports team talking about their opponent. The teams do not denigrate or make false statements. They discuss what they are going to do not what their competition has done.

I am new to Linux, being in the investigative stage. What I have found out is that Linux is not more secure than Windows Server, not more robust, and certainly does not have near the number of applications available to it as Windows.

Linux has less virus attacks because, less face it, the people that create the malevolent software just do not care about an o.s. that has less than 5% of the user market. As Linux gets more popular, so have the attacks on it. If you compare virus attacks to user installed base, Linux is a train wreck.

Having said that, I am excited about using Linux, primarily because of its cost savings. I would just like to find a resource that spends less time being vituperative about the competition and more time focusing on the advantages of an excellent o.s.

tc (not verified) - Fri, 2005-04-01 23:39.

Linux Security

If you want to know if Linux/Unix is more secure than Windows, just try this site:

http://www.depicus.com/interweb/what-web-server.aspx

If you try multiple sites, notice that the server is very frequently Unix (BSD) or Linux. Would PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, Google, or Canon make a poor choice for an operating system? I do realize that there are sites that use Windows, not to say that Windows cannot have a server and is not a valid choice, but I believe that Unix/Linux is a preferred server system for a reason.

Also, pay attention to the number of patches, critical updates, etc from Microsoft and then notice the updates, patches, etc from Linux/Unix. You will notice that Microsoft has a catalog of many fixes because, frankly, they are piecing and patching their OS to make it usable. Now, look at the number of complaints you can find on the internet about how Linux/Unix has failed someone as a server. I will not debate it as a workstation, but as a server (HTTP, SSH, NX, SMTP, PHP, MySQL, VPN, PXE, DHCP, Samba, NFS, etc), I like it. Besides, you cannot beat the price.

Now, notice the time between version changes for Linux/Unix and Microsoft. Microsoft has a business model of patch until a new version comes, while Linux/Unix make changes and offer new versions or updates. Linux/Unix version updates are a monthly occurance, while Microsoft is a multi-year occurance.

If you do not believe me, please continue to research and even make your own servers and hack them (as I did). I found so many ways to break a Microsoft server and failed every time while hacking my Linux servers. Good luck.

Michael (not verified) - M - , 2005-10-31 13:10.

WRONG!!!

WRONG! WRONG WRONG!... The viruses in your M$ Windoze are here only because Mr. Bill Gate is putting in the top of the piramid the only rule: M$ must be a dollars-making-machine, NOT a secure OS. In the Unix, BSD, Linux world there are a simply rule to security: Two kind of people the simply user an the all mighty root. The root is suposed to be a person with criteria to administrate the access of the users to the info, files, etc. Second rule: In your Windoze Mr. Bill is making a "spagetti" program, with holes, with broken things, mixing the space of the user with the space of the OS (core things), etc. Windows NEED a lot of antiviruses because is like a ball... you can think in a virus like a needle... In the other hand linux/unix/BSDs are like an caterpillar... you can put or throw away his legs and it is still walking: Please think about... the linux kernel is intalled even without a desktop or even without any thing... in can be in a simply floppy! This is importan because the vertebral colum -the kernel- is independent of the other things AND the holes, bronken things, etc. are in high percent a consecuence of put more and more programs mixed with the kernel. The M$ Windoze crash and is infected because the rulers used are Comercial Ones, not Technical Ones!
The argument about the only 5% percent is grong because ALL THE TIME people like you -happy MS users- are crossing the web space using BSD/UNIX/LINUXs SERVERS, even if you dont know it, even if you dont believe it! Yahoo.com uses FreBSD, a *nix family OS! Please, believe me there are best arguments about the unsuccessfull of linux!

An - ymous (not verified) - Tue, 2005-04-12 00:37.

That's a quick change...

Dude, you went from being helpful to a bile spouting viper in 2 posts! Please, think about the things you say when you say them, a baleful stare only draws baleful stares to meet it.
Or, alternatively you can use the bees, honey and vinegar proverb.
Either way, chillage is in order from that attack.

HeyNotThere (not verified) - Sat, 2005-04-30 22:11.

attitude

Wow, An - ymous that's not cool. You have a serious attitude problem. If we want to increase the OS market share that Linux and BSD have over Windows we can't keep flying off the handle at people like that.

One of the reasons I've stopped visiting Linux forums is the lack of helpfullness, and proliferation of geek elitism who only seem to respond with RTFM or other such. I'll take an O'Reilly book instead thanks.

Example: I was trying to configure X on a laptop about a year ago, and got absolutely stuck, and went on a forum, where I got the typical RTFM. In the end, I got the very helpful (and very long) Running Linux book, and about 4 DAYS later I got it working.

If on the other hand someone gave me a helping hand it may have only taken an hour or so, and I would have been a very happy Linux user, and would then proceed to run out to the street and tell every stranger I meet about how great Linux is.... instead of wasting 4 days of my life and bearing a grudge since.

And I'm not alone! So many people have had their Linux experience destroyed by some unthinking juvenile who can't see the benefit of helping a noob, not realising that a year later this noob may potentially contribute some awesome kernel patch or a cool Gnome game.

Plus, even if he just becomes a user, that's one more person on Linux, and one less on Windows, hence one more potential buyer for a Linux native computer game AND ONE LESS potential buyer for a Windows native computer game.

Now, imagine if it wasn't one user, but 10,000...

An - ymous (not verified) - Sat, 2005-04-30 20:12.

If I Switch, will Linux...?

Hi!

First of all, I have no interest in computers themselves. I want to be able to do a bunch of stuff, and I have to use a computer to do it. I want to spend all my time doing the stuff, not screwing with my computer.

I am contemplating switching from XP-SUSE Linux 10.0. I have a bunch of MS Works spreadsheets that I need to use. OpenOffice (which I'm using on my PC already) is supposed to open them, but it won't, so I'm having to use MS Works. Can I use these old Works documents in Linux 10.0 (by using OpenOffice, or some other program)? Will MS Works run on Linux?

I also am always travelling, so my laptop is my life. I need to be able to watch DVDs on it, and from what I've read, it seems impossible to watch DVDs on a Linux laptop.

My ethernet connection also doesn't work, and I don't know how to fix it. Will it work with Linux? With Linux, is stuff at least as easy to fix as with XP?

Are there any other problems I should be ready for when switching to Linux?

Cliff
Green Bay, WI

PS-I have a 5 1/2 yr. old Dell, which runs great. I have NEVER reformatted the hard drive, and I'm on the net all the time.

atpcliff (not verified) - Thu, 2006-01-12 04:21.

"I am contemplating

"I am contemplating switching from XP-SUSE Linux 10.0. I have a bunch of MS Works spreadsheets that I need to use. OpenOffice (which I'm using on my PC already) is supposed to open them, but it won't, so I'm having to use MS Works. Can I use these old Works documents in Linux 10.0 (by using OpenOffice, or some other program)? Will MS Works run on Linux?"
I've never actually had OpenOffice fail for me, but I do understand that it has its limitations, so I can't really tell you if it will work with those documents or not. However, Wine and CrossoverOffice especially should allow you to install Works in Linux. You might want to check out their compatability lists first, though.

"I also am always travelling, so my laptop is my life. I need to be able to watch DVDs on it, and from what I've read, it seems impossible to watch DVDs on a Linux laptop."
It's not impossible, just iffy. You can obtain and install the neccessary packages to decrypt encrypted DVDs easily enough but the legality of doing so if you live in the U.S. is a grey area - it's never been brought up in court, so no one knows for sure if it's completely ok to do it. Theoretically, though, it is not. You can wiki "w32codecs" to learn more about it.

There is a legal alternative, though. Intervideo puts out a DVD player called LinDVD that is 100% legal. However, you can only obtain it through purchasing a commercial distro that comes with it.

"My ethernet connection also doesn't work, and I don't know how to fix it. Will it work with Linux?"
Without knowing what the exact issue is with it, I can't tell you if it will work or not. Linux is not a fix all. If there is an issue with the modem, router, nic, or even the cable itself, installing Linux will not magically fix it. ;)

I can tell you though that if you're using cable or DSL through a router, your connection (assuming everything is healthy) should work as soon as you install it without any input from you. This is true of WinXP as well though so it's not different.

"With Linux, is stuff at least as easy to fix as with XP?"
It depends on your definition of "fix", lol.

If you mean fixing individual issues with the OS manually, yes, it is easier in that you're not locked out from fiddling with the system like you are in Windows, but you do have to know *how* to do it (the not-so-easy part - you can reinstall if you want to, but it is not the recommended fix all for everything like it can be in Windows). This is where forums become a huge help, and you can always access them easily even if your GUI has failed thanks to live cds.

If you mean fixing issues with the OS as in Windows "repair"/reinstall/etc., this is easier as well. If you REALLY screw your system up or have some off the wall issue that you and no one else can figure out, reinstalling is painless thanks to the fact that all your configuration/personal files/etc. can be left untouched while only the system files are reinstalled (this, in a way, is similar to the repair function on the Windows cd, but a bit more powerful). This is rarely neccessary though thanks to the earlier statement about forums and live cds. Also, most live cds come with a handful of nice tools to help you fix a broken system. :)

vk (not verified) - Thu, 2006-10-05 18:25.

You need to do more research

You need to do more research on the subject of security, as you are laboring under a boat load of misconceptions--most of them being straight from ms ad-copy.

The objective facts remain:

Linux *is*, out of the box, more secure than ms alternatives.

Linux is more robust and scalable than the ms alternatives.

There are actually more applications available for Linux/Unix than you'll find for any ms OS.

In termns of proportions, Linux is probably attacked equally (or more often) than ms OSses--just less successfully--and your assertion is founded squarely upon falsehood.

I'm happy that you are finding cost savings associated with your Linux use, but you should also be tangibly financing or directly assisting the FOSS effort.
You will, in time, discover the root of the fallacies you've advanced as fact, above. (Honest research is required!) Stick with it.

E1 (not verified) - M - , 2005-04-04 23:36.

"There are actually more

"There are actually more applications available for Linux/Unix than you'll find for any ms OS."
There is actually no way to tell if this is true or false. For example, developers and companies on both ends will put up small websites offering various applications and never index them anywhere.

vk (not verified) - Thu, 2006-10-05 18:29.

well my portage list more tha

well my portage list more than 9200 aplications, my synaptic at ubuntu list more then 14000 apps... and they are all free... don't cust a cent and i can read and change it, or see how things are done...

eventually it's possible to find that same numbers of apps for Windows, but they are limited demos, limited sharewares or usually poor and buged freewares (not mention the case of linux apps with a win version...). So you only got a point if you are a billionaire with no love for your money... or defende piracy and no respect of the developers work.

About virus, you got a point, but it's not complete. IF you have a virus running at linux it MUST have access to your passwords... or it was complete inofensive... you forgot that even most basic linux security model are more secure by default than windows. Your linux system it's not available without an administrator password.

I don't get it your train wreck sentence... you are a newbie. Stay a while with Linux and watch your friend's computers get infected and they windows became unstable with crashes and forced reboots, while your Pingo stays solid as a rock... then argue again :)

ruiP (not verified) - Sat, 2005-04-02 03:45.

Please check the sites about

Please check the sites about...

An - ymous - Wed, 2005-06-15 08:20.

Beginners' Choices

The number of OSes you can have on your computer is only limited by your own ability to learn what they each offer!

A practical limit is 23 partitions, holding different OSes, for the first IDE hard drive, and 26 on each IDE drive after the first (and, a really great menu system!)!

If you think that that might be complicated, you haven't been using Linux, and it's offer of GRUB or LILO menus!

Then, upon the first install of a Linux Distribution such as Debian, from a fast Knoppix Live CDrom, you can download, for FREE, the 114,680 applications, games and files, that were not installed in the initial install of 900+ programs.

The options, the choices, in Linux, are humungous!!!
http://knopper.net/knoppix also offers forums, advice columns, suited for everyone, from 'newbie' to 'expert'!

Patrick (not verified) - Sat, 2005-04-23 11:04.

Low cost

I have 8 computers at home, only one of which came with a Microsoft product pre-installed. I wouldn't be able to afford to drop $200-$300 per machine to install MS junk. And I like Linux (also Unix/BSD) as a server platform.

cajunman4life (not verified) - Fri, 2005-04-01 09:54.

portability

I like it because I can buy any hardware I want an put it on it and
have the same look and feel on any hardware.

this is undprecedented and if you are a IT manager we should all demand
it from our OS vendors. If you have one by not choosing linux.

I have linux on every computer I use - from Imac - to my sunblade
100 - I have the same interface, email, browser on all of them.

This is the way computing is suppose to be - at least that is one
person's opinion.

Now if we can only get these web sites to write their pages this way
we would be getting out of the vendor lock-in dark ages.

An - ymous (not verified) - Fri, 2005-04-01 09:07.

no crash

Oh,maybe the kernel won't freeze,but with nvidia drivers and a via chipset there is a tendency for x to freeze,especially in gnome.At least for me.

fripper (not verified) - Wed, 2005-03-30 01:14.

Well this is not that true

Well this is not that true :p
X not in fault ;) check this out (the explanation not the win binary :p)
http://downloads.guru3d.com/download.php?det=294

Astheriel (not verified) - Fri, 2006-01-06 10:38.

KDE and/or X have a tenedency

KDE and/or X have a tenedency to crash also. You are right the kernel will not crash, but KDE/X eventually will. The longest that I have had my kernel up is about 120 days. The only way I keep it up that long is to shut down KDE/X and restart it every couple of weeks before it locks the kernel too.

An - ymous (not verified) - Thu, 2005-03-31 10:27.

Well, first, the usual rant a

Well, first, the usual rant about not blaming Linux for an binary only driver distributed by Nvidia (arguably, in some obscure way, violating, or, at least, sidestepping the kernel's GPL license).

2nd. Make you you compile your kernel with Local APIC disabled. Also, there is a way to tweak the Nvidia kernel to reduce the AGP transfer speed. Those two changes stabilized by system perfectly.

An - ymous (not verified) - Thu, 2005-03-31 07:57.

OK, so let's not complain abo

OK, so let's not complain about binary drivers provided by different companies.
... but let's also not complain about non-MS software and drivers making the Windows platform crash... then I can say Linux has crashed as many times as Windows for me

Pollentier (not verified) - Thu, 2005-03-31 08:35.

Teach First, Preach Later

"Linux...always will be the first operating system to take advantage of
advances in hardware technology"
Nonsense.
Blanket statements like this, with no qualifying exceptions, at best, confuse curious newbies, at worst, tend to drive them right back to Windows.
SATA anyone?

Tom (not verified) - Wed, 2005-03-16 17:21.

YES! ME SATA: I have Mandrake

YES! ME SATA: I have Mandrake 10, Agnula Demudi 1.2 and M$ Windoze in my computer! all in my SATA drive! Hurts?!

An - ymous (not verified) - Tue, 2005-04-12 00:45.

Huh?

Did you read the article or were you just looking for something to be pendantic about?

{BBI}Nexus{BBI} (not verified) - Fri, 2005-04-01 12:25.

safe effective diet pills

Take your time to visit some information dedicated to purchase prescription diet pill online purchase prescription diet pill online http://www.the-discount-store.com/diet-pills.html http://www.the-discount-store.com/diet-pills.html ... Thanks!!!

safe effective diet pills (not verified) - Sun, 2005-08-07 17:47.

SATA... Yeah, Works Great

Yeah, SATA works great on my Linux system. Also, Linux was first to support x86-64. It will run on CEL, Power 5, Apple computers, Motorola (SP?) chips. ANYTHING. So yeah, that is a true statement and it only takes a second to goggle for the answers, so I don't see it necessary to post links to the above into.

LinuxRocks (not verified) - Sun, 2005-03-27 06:49.

What's goggle?

What's goggle?

An - ymous (not verified) - Thu, 2005-03-31 16:01.

Contraaa

Backdow anyone? Control anyone? Virus anyone?

Sata: yes ... me sata!

ado (not verified) - M - , 2005-03-21 11:43.

More reasons to switch to Linux

How about a bigger social issue? My favourite is the democratizaton of computers. Without Linux, those who can't afford the latest and greatest proprietary software have to choose between making do with whatever they can, or stealing up-to-date software. With Linux and the rest of the Open Source community, anyone has access to cutting-edge software.

D - ovan (not verified) - Wed, 2005-03-16 08:13.

Sorry, Dudes -- Linux Ain't There Yet...

After replacing my Windoze box for three solid months with several distros (SUSE 10, Puppy Linux, Linspire [almost there], MEPIS and Kubuntu), I have to wonder what y'all are smoking...

Linux is FAB for web browsing, e-mail, chatting, virus and spyware immunity and, with the advent of OOo 2.x, even fine for most office tasks. No BS -- I mean FABULOUS.

But some things still BLOW in Linux. And they're too big for me to pretend otherwise. Printing and scanning suck to the point of uselessness. And yes, my Epson scanner is fully supported by Kooka and XSANE. And yes, basic scans are okay, but there's nothing like Paperport software, for example, to help me do something useful with all of those scanned documents, etc. And OCR in Linux is not impressive at all. And if you don't have one of three scanners or printers that are supported by Linux, you're really screwed. I know a lot of these things are really manufacturer issues, but they're manufacturer issues with Linux nonetheless.

Cobbling some half-assed working drivers for my Canon i950 (without buying Turboprint, which costs almost as much as Windoze or Linspire itself), took an act of congress. Good thing I mostly use my trusty old HP Laserjet 4.

Printing from anything PDF sucks balls.

A lot of "open source" software in Linux is fabulous conceptually (and I'm a big booster of open source overall), but is just half-baked and frustrating to use and configure in reality.

I can't tell you how many times I've grown weary of editing some config file or another just to get X to half-assed run a video card that's hugely popular and has been on the market for several years. Monitor refresh rates, too. The list is endless.

Believe me -- I WANT to switch to Linux for a bunch of reasons. But when I switched back to XP -- no hassles. Stuff just works. DVDs burn fine again with Nero (as opposed to K3B, which burns CDs just fine for some reason that was too frystrating to troubleshoot), Paperport just works. All of my hardware that wasn't supported in Linux works, too.

It's a hassle running two spyware protection apps and an antivirus again to be sure. And I even run Zone Alarm IN ADDITION to my hardware firewall. But the latest OOo for Windoze still kicks butt, as does GIMPshop. Never could get the latest Linux version set up right...and forget about printing from it :)

Oh, I still have a Linux box or two on my office network. One keeps track of the latest Linspire happenings...and when that OS can successfully replacce XP, I'll be right there switching over to it. The other runs Puppy Linux, and is ready and willing to surf the seedy underbelly of the internet...to go where XP can't and shouldn't go...

And let's not even talk about gaming...

No, friends, Linux is close...but it hasn't arrived yet.

One frustrated wanna-use-Linux PC user...

--KK

Kirk (not verified) - Tue, 2006-01-03 05:22.

From the way it sounds,

From the way it sounds, you've just had some bad luck with hardware compatability, and that is a sore spot for Linux - a lot of stuff works out of the box, but some of it doesn't (I'd really be a millionaire if I got a nickel for every complaint I've seen about Epson and Canon stuff not working in Linux). But for me and for other people things have just worked. Yes, proprietary video card drivers can be a pain. That's part of the reason why I myself use Mepis, in which installing the driver for my ATI card amounts to nothing more than checking off a checkbox and then restarting X. That's part of what I love about Linux. In Windows XP, I have to install 8 - yes, 8! - drivers to get all my hardware working correctly (and some to work at all), with every single one requiring a reboot. :S

vk (not verified) - Thu, 2006-10-05 18:57.