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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AMEN BROTHER!!! I've tried

AMEN BROTHER!!! I've tried to love Linux for years now. I want to love Linux. I need to love Linux. But alas, it breaks my heart everytime. Oh well, maybe someday.

An - ymous (not verified) - Thu, 2006-01-05 20:25.

Open Source

I am a newbie, just setup my first Fedora Core 3 and trying to figure out Apache Web server. In my recent experience, one of the main issues that I and most long-time MS users have with Linux is that everything in the business world is so deep into microsoft we can't fully get out of it. I really thought that I was going to be able to completely leave MS when I discovered Open Office, but after a couple of weeks working with it and trying all of the other programs I have been able to find, I just can't make it work with everyone I need to. 99% of the time I will send a file to someone else who is going to open that file with an MS product and 99% of the time it comes out looking like crap. I have read through the forums and googled the crap out of it, but nothing seems to work exactly like I need it to. Don't get me wrong, I am a true convert to Linux and Open Office, but there is just no way right now for me to leave MS for good. I use Linux for fun and learning and MS for the "real" work. I think things are definitely headed in the right direction, but it will be a while before Open Source can beat out MS. Although, I have to say that Open Office is definitely doing some good. Sorry folks..... Just my personal experience as a newbie. Another thing, Documentation. Sure, there is a lot of documentation and help for Newbs like me, but most of it that I have found jumps right in with the "Lingo" and confuses the hell out of a MS person! Maybe someone could point me to a "Linux for Windows Users guide: From Newbie to Administrator." Maybe my problem is that I am trying to jump in too deep too fast. I am an IT admin at a 2,000 user company with Windows and there are certain things I just want to get done on Linux that make me feel like an idiot for not knowing.
Okay, I guess I will stop with the rant now. Maybe some of the Linux Gods will see this and make everything perfect............

Matt (not verified) - Tue, 2005-04-05 09:10.

Dont worry please! YOUR ARE n

Dont worry please! YOUR ARE not so alone! I'm only 1 and a half year linux user, I'm not an IT manager... I'm a Psychologist!!! and now, at this time I'm can use Mandrake, Debian/Mepis and -even- Slackware. Is only a matter of time. A few moths ago you were using only M$ windoze, now you are usiing Linux and Windoze... THIS IS IMPORTANT! because now you have the choice in your hands!!! you can use a part of linux technology... in a firewall for example an still use a windows desktop... even you can use knoppix in the SAME computer with Windoze only for fun or to do personal things. AT THIS TIME you have more resources to GET UP a Windoze PC using Helix, Knoppix, Slax, RecoverCD, etc. all of it a Linux-open source!
Please, keep the path, believe me IS THE RIGHT PATH. To have the choice -not monopoly- is the RIGT PATH!

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

i think i'm a bit more of a n

i think i'm a bit more of a newbie, i finally got my hands on a Linux distro (redhat) last saturday, and alredy i can say that reason #9 is true. i installed redhat on an old 'popcorn-machine' i had gatherin dust under may bed, ( you know the sound that old harddrives make, sounds like popcorn in a poper) PIII,600Mhz,2gig HD,64Mb RAM, it booted much quicker than when i had winME on it (winME took about 4 full minutes before the desktop came up).
The only problem i've encountered with Linux so far is that it was a bit difficult to find.downloadeing was not an option ( i live in Jamaica, rush hour traffic in Kingston moves fater than dial up from the local phone company), non of the computer stores i checked had it. i finally got it from a guy who was building a new system for my uncle ( thats coparable to how i, and practically everyone else i know, got window$, if you think the GNU beleives in free software you should come to Jamaica)
i guess the very best reason fro switching to Linux is that it's not window$!!!, i'ts good to be diffrent.

Chris (not verified) - Fri, 2005-04-29 10:30.

I agree 100%

This guy is right.

I am in a similar situation. I am a web programmer who also enjoys the luxury of serving as email admin, network admin, phone system-guy and anything else "digital"

I recently installed my *second* linux desktop (my first one a few years ago was abandoned as it was not as cool as i expected). This time I installed Mandrake 10.1 and i really do like it; however, when using it I feel as if I am on an island all alone.

The GUIDs are all easy enough (I use KDE) and any windows user can grasp this rather quickly, but the command line stuff is pretty hard, man. As an experiement, I downloaded FireFox to use instead of Konquerer. The install process was very bizarre with some very cyrptic commands to get it going. THE POINT REGARDING A WINDOWS USER'S GUIDE TO LINUX is a very good point. ...would help a ton.

Today, I am embarking on Apache as my goal is LAMP development (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) to create a completely free web development environment for myself. As a pro at windows 2000 & 2003 server, I assume this should be a piece of cake - however, if I have to control all aspects of configuration via the command line, I will be lost...

wish me luck.

christian (not verified) - Thu, 2005-04-07 14:17.

I'm surprised

I am actually surprised you are having this problem. I know quite a few people, including LInux Journal ad reps, that use OpenOffice and produce documents for their clients in Word format. If you can get more specific, maybe we can find the problem for you.

As for documentation, you are absolutely right. And, well, that's what TUX is all about.

Phil Hughes

fyl - Wed, 2005-04-06 18:36.

I'm surprised

I am actually surprised you are having this problem. I know quite a few people, including LInux Journal ad reps, that use OpenOffice and produce documents for their clients in Word format. If you can get more specific, maybe we can find the problem for you.

As for documentation, you are absolutely right. And, well, that's what TUX is all about.

Phil Hughes

fyl - Wed, 2005-04-06 18:18.

Emulator

Why don't you try running wine on linux, It is windows emulator, and it can run MS office AFAIK. And you won't have to leave LInux if you want to write something for the people who doesn't know what is good for them. :)

I'm a Linux newbie too. I'm using Linux for about 2 months now only for fun. But now I'm buying a new PC, and I will install Ubuntu on it, and I'll use it for work too.

MaBu (not verified) - Wed, 2005-04-06 11:18.

Wine is not an emulator

It even says so at the top of their web site: http://www.winehq.org

Its more like an interpreter. It doesn't take up a solid and set block of your RAM. It just tells linux how to deal with the windows commands.

Good advice... bad wording.

Lunarcloud (not verified) - Wed, 2005-05-04 17:13.

Switch??

How about one undeniable reason why you should be ABLE to switch....
One reason why you should have a stable, viable, media-capable, emulator-ready desktop linux available to you.... CHOICE

I should have the right to a life without a business relationship to Redmond, WA if I so choose... Linux gives me that.

And don't say I should compute with fruit,... he's as bent on DRM'ing us out of our freedom as any record exec.

ElaraUno (not verified) - Thu, 2005-03-31 18:02.

"And don't say I should compu

"And don't say I should compute with fruit,... he's as bent on DRM'ing us out of our freedom as any record exec."

Ignoring, of course, the fact that ms owns around 25% of that particular tree?

A business relationship with the fruit vendors at "1 Infinite Loop,
Cupertino, CA 95014" is a business relationship with the fruitcakes at " One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052-6399."

E1 (not verified) - Tue, 2005-04-05 12:08.

!!SWITCH!!

I got so sick of active-x and all the garbage that comes with micro$oft. I welcomed Novell suse 9.2 pro with open arms. It runs great in the AMD 64-bit box I built. I was just sick of all the commercials and proprietary control over my old box. I don't mind the learning curve.

do - do - 82 (not verified) - Sat, 2005-04-02 17:41.

About Switch

Without a doubt, the hardest group of users to switch (to Linux) are Windows "Power Users". As part of that group myself, we were struttin pretty high in Windows, but only knew enough to be dangerous. Installing and uninstalling a ba-zillion programs - letting plug & play set up our peripherals. . . bottom line, we never really learned and understood the OS. Then, we also grew tired of the commercial crap-o-lay that a new PC comes with (like wading through a swamp . . eh?). Besides, the barrage of advertisments and unwanted "demo" apps (that would self-destruct in 30 days or so) - soon the spyway comes, and if we're not careful, the trojens, worms, keyloggers, and umpteen things not even the best of SpyBot/AdAware can detect (believe me). So, we make the switch and whamo - we have a new learning curve? Where o where did the "package" go I think I just installed - it missappeared!!! And, no familiar programs folder, startup folder, file extensions, etc, etc, etc. BUT - if we don't panic but realize it took us months or more to learn DOS and Windows, we will make it. I've tried many distros, and all are pretty good (especially the ones that like your hardware) - BUT, if Suse/Novell installs cleanly on your system (which it should) - the SWITCH in my view is easier, because of the exceptionally good manuals, forums, and official Suse Knowledge bases. One final note, a great book for future Linux Power Users (ps - they like to be called "SuperUsers" in Linux) - is "How Linux Works" by Brian Ward (2004 - No Starch Press - San Francisco).

GregA (not verified) - Tue, 2005-04-05 12:24.

Ex XP

I started off with Basic and graduated to PC-DOS on the original IBM PC. Since that time, I have used every variety of M$ operating system generated and could be considered an XP 'power user', who spends as much time tweaking the registry as actually running programs. Frankly, I liked XP Pro, at least I thought I did, until I installed Mepis 3.3 in an A64 box that was formerly unstable and unreliable under XP. Now, that box is fast, stable and reliable, which now requires that I call into question everything I thought I knew about operating systems.

As a novice Linux user, I still have much to learn, but every day brings new discoveries and a greater admiration for the individuals who make up the Linux community. Due to the fact that I build and service computers, I am still required to interface with XP, a chore that becomes more frustrating each day, as I realize the greater advantages and stability of Linux. Ultimately, you must give the customer what they ask for, but for friends and family, I only provide one OS from now on, Linux.

AlF (not verified) - Sat, 2005-04-16 12:57.

Ex XP

If you like Mepis,,, You ought to give Kanotix a look-see! What can you say besides WOW! Just a SUPER OS with a SUPERIOR community! The developer himself is redily available. Try that with "Mr. Mepis". Not to knock Mepis,,, I own one of their cd's as well... Just that Kanotix 2005-04 is just the BEST I've found!

MCrofutt (not verified) - Tue, 2006-01-03 20:48.

Well, if we want to know how

Well, if we want to know how something works, there are great resources such as this one: http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Plug-and-Play-HOWTO.html

I tried (past tense, not too long ago) Linux before, and I end up always using binaries (even for the kernel). Compiling simply takes too long. Old habits die hard. I immediately went back to Windows and nuked LILO & the Linux partitions. I didn't see the point: 1) I use binaries in Windows, 2) All my stability problems in XP were due to either drivers or direct hardware problems (*cough* VIA chipsets *cough* and a wee bit of Soyo) 3) and plus I couldn't play all the games I had, and even if there was emulation, 4-7 fps isn't playable.

Part of the spyware/virus problem is due to Microsoft's default account settings, yes, but settings the default to the "Users" group would have made a million phones go off the hook and threats to the tune of lawsuits at Redmond from yours truly Joe & Jane Average again.

I'm still considering Linux for the future, but right now if has zilch, nil, nadal to offer me.

An - ymous (not verified) - Tue, 2005-04-12 23:11.

It _IS_ about How Big Your Processor Is...

>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,

That i find to be false.
Most popular - and thus most complete and usable - desktops - KDE and GNOME - are BLOATED. Particularly KDE is way more bloated than any Windows version known to man.
I tried to compile it. On my good old Celeron 566, it took about 3 days and in the end, it FAILED with some obscure error message that i was unable to fix (i was able to fix several problems earlier).
Compilation requires about a gig of disk space, and several hundred just for the binaries - more than the entire Win98. And slower than any Windows as well.

Of course, there are other desktops, less bloated, but also less usable, configurable - you have to dig through obscure documentation on obscure config files, if not worse.

Having to compile stuff sucks. It takes too much time and often requires fixing some really obscure problems and dependencies, something that a normal user won't be prepared to do.

I prefer Linux anyway, as the lesser of available evils. Once i figure out how to do something, it gets easier. It's the process of figuring out that sucks, the time and skills it takes.

An - ymous (not verified) - Fri, 2005-05-06 18:13.

"On my good old Celeron

"On my good old Celeron 566"
KDE itself says that it is not meant for older hardware. From the wiki:
"A computer with 1GHz processor and 256MB RAM (a configuration which is probably not even being offered by shops these days anymore) is perfectly sufficient for decent KDE performance."

"Compilation requires about a gig of disk space, and several hundred just for the binaries - more than the entire Win98"
FYI - Compilation always requires a heck of a lot more space than the finished installed product, first of all. Second of all, you're comparing a modern DE that comes with a bunch of applications to a 7 year old bare operating system. :S

"Of course, there are other desktops, less bloated, but also less usable, configurable - you have to dig through obscure documentation on obscure config files, if not worse."
XFCE puts out a good balance between being lightweight and easily configurable & attractive. In fact it is such a good DE that I used it for a long time for no reason other than simple preference over KDE and Gnome.

"Having to compile stuff sucks. It takes too much time and often requires fixing some really obscure problems and dependencies, something that a normal user won't be prepared to do."
Compiling does suck. The thing is, you don't have to compile anything... you can install from rpms or debs or, even better, repositories, unless you're using a source based distro by some chance. :S

vk (not verified) - Thu, 2006-10-05 21:17.

So... KDE is bloated just

So... KDE is bloated just because it takes it three days to compile on your ancient Celeron? Yeah, right, try compiling Win98 on that Celeron the next time, just to be fair....

An - ymous (not verified) - Tue, 2006-01-03 05:17.

If you think that KDe and GNO

If you think that KDe and GNOME are so memory-consuming, then why don't you use a Window Manager like Xfce or Fluxbox? They're both absolutely amazing - fast, sleek, and they even look good. Both very complete in my view.

As for compiling software, it has become much less of a problem with the advent of package management systems, and as a user of Ubuntu, I have to say that apt-get is the best front-end for the best package management system, dpkg!

My laptop always used to get BSODs whenever I ran Windows XP - and it came with it. After about two years, I randomly started getting BSOD when my CPU was under "havy" load (like running Firefox - lol). I then installed Linux, and now it runs perfectly! I'll never put another Windows OS on that computer :D

--

An - ymous (not verified) - Thu, 2005-07-21 02:25.

KDE does not need to be bloated and slow

To my suprise, when I installed SUPER SUSE (www.opensuse.com/SUPER install fits on one CD) I discovered that:
- 3D of my Nvidia card worked out of the box
- all the media codecs were already installed
- KDE is SUPERFAST (unbelievably fast!)
- other windows managers even performing faster then KDE pre-installed
- essential utilities pre-installed (zip archives, bittorrent, editors)

jan (not verified) - Tue, 2006-01-03 05:59.

RE :KDE does not need to be bloated and slow

Hello, I use Gentoo 2005.1 for about 6 month, and my KDE is very fast too, because I use the new KDE 3.4.3 with the split-ebuild...so I have only what I want dans because of that, my KDE is booting like a Lighting strike.

Also, my Gentoo never had a single KDE crash or something else.I use a S-ATA hdd and I use the 3D driver from ATI.

When you know how to use portage with Gentoo, you have the freedom to use your computer, instead of working to work your computer :)

d2_racing (not verified) - Wed, 2006-01-04 09:42.