“But that’s for engineers and programmers only, isn’t it?”
If you’ve heard about Linux or seen it in a PC, chances are that you heard that from a programmer/coder or a software engineering student or anyone who knows about programming languages. If you have used it, then it is likely that you fall under one of the above categories. This fact gives us a notion that Linux isn’t meant for others. But the reality is pretty different.
WHAT IS LINUX?
Linux was created single-handedly by Linus Torvalds in 1991, primarily as a free and more independent Operating System for developers. It is actually an environment that comes in various distributions like Ubuntu, Kali, Fedora, Mint, Debian, etc. Ubuntu is the most popular distribution of Linux.
Linux was created for supercomputers and servers, the opposite of the ones used by laymen. But it grew so big that it became handy even for non-technical users. Interestingly, the android that some of you are using while reading this article is a distribution of Linux.
Stories aside, Linux is a great operating system that people even without a technical background can use, given that they spend just a little amount of time learning some commands. Because a meager amount of time spent while learning it can give you big advantages over popular counterparts like Mac and Windows.
ADVANTAGES OF LINUX OVER WINDOWS AND MAC
1. FREE OF COST
Everybody loves things for free. So why pay extra bucks for the same computer when you can get it for a lesser price and an OS that lets you do more things? The cost of the licenses of Windows and Mac are always added by manufacturers while bringing out the price. This is the reason why the MS-DOS versions are always cheaper than the Windows versions of laptops and PCs.
That’s not the only problem with paid Operating Systems. If in any case, you would have to format the Operating System (like corrupt drives or viruses), you would have to pay extra for technical support and the new license, if you didn’t have a license key initially. That is more cash down the drain.
Windows asks for updates like a hungry infant (if you are familiar with the Windows 10). Windows 10 is still better since the updates are free which the case with older versions wasn’t and we don’t know if this stays in the future. Apple would also ask for a price for upgrading to Catalina when it comes out. Even the Suites like MS Office aren’t free, but Linux’s software is all open source which means there is no cost involved in getting them on your PC.
2. PRIVACY AND SECURITY
There is a reason why Linux is a go-to for servers and supercomputers, and that reason is its powerful security. This is because of a few factors, one of the most prominent one being the fact that most of the people create viruses that are directed to Windows and Mac since there are more users who don’t know how to handle viruses and can be fooled easily.
User-friendly Operating Systems also make you an administrator straight away and you need just a password for that. It is tougher for a person to get to the same status since on a default, Linux lets you operate on a lower status. What this does is that if you somehow install malicious software, it wouldn’t do lots of damage to your system like it would do in the case of other Operating systems.
Another factor that confirms to the preconceived notion about Linux is that an average Linux user has more technical know-how than the average Windows or Mac User. Which is why Linux seems to be more secure to the outsiders but actually, there is the user who knows more about viruses.
Microsoft and Apple collect tons of data from their users, such as names, email Ids, passwords, etc. that are valuable to them and important for you. There is no way to cancel that or prevent that from happening. Linux does not have a company behind managing all the stuff because of which you don’t have to submit any data and can be anonymous as well.
3. FREEDOM OF ACCESSIBILITY
This advantage can be easily understood by someone who has used Apple for some time and then switched to windows after a certain while. You feel tons of extra features packed into Windows because it focusses on maximizing the usability in just one device. Whereas Apple creates minimalistic products in which you cannot go beyond the level to which Apple limits you.
That feeling of freedom is far better on a Linux desktop because it is open source. What it means is that anyone can configure its source code and make it better, more adaptable and ready for the future and distribute those adaptations within the community.
Windows and Mac are private which is why they cannot let you do anywhere near the source code. Fewer developers mean fewer minds and fewer adaptations. What this lets you do is solve any issue with the operating system yourself rather than waiting for the developers at Microsoft or Apple to do so.
4. VARIETY OF CUSTOMISATIONS
Wouldn’t you love it if there was a separate version of Mac or Windows just made for your convenience? Linux offers multiple customizations, also known as Distributions or more commonly ‘Distros’. They are primarily a version of Linux but have very different purposes. Some are specific for firewall servers or web servers, some work great for supercomputers, some are compatible with ancient computers that aren’t relevant as of now, and so on. So, there is a variant for your purpose and your computer.
Another thing that can be customized in Linux Distros is the theme. Different Distros offer different themes that can look as per your choice. Some look like windows, some like Mac OS and some of them are totally new.
Since android became what it is by being a Linux distro, there is a chance that the next breakthrough could even be another one of Linux distros. Who knows?
There are nefarious online forums and websites that can help out users with problems and repair bugs. You can log in to a related forum with your problem and get it solved. Linux users are experienced enough in tech to help you out with Linux.
Windows users have to pay for repairs because only the officials are equipped with a license to configure the code, and the average user has no other option left other than taking their laptop or CPU to the repair stores.
Linux probably has the biggest community support in the world of operating systems, but because of multiple customizations, there are multiple ways of solving the same problem. Still, this is a very small price to pay for free support forums.
“Should I swap over for Linux if I have Windows? Is Linux flawless? Is it great enough for every user?” It is important to have an answer to questions like these before making the final decisions.
First of all, Linux isn’t flawless, it has disadvantages as well, such as:
- Many kinds of software aren’t available for Linux at all. Of course, there are free applications that can act as alternatives to the paid ones but they aren’t as good as them.
- Offline software installation isn’t easy in Linux, because one has to find another software called a dependency that is different for all software. Dependencies are very hard to find
- Game developers do not care about Linux, which is why even popular titles aren’t available for Linux.
Non-technical guys switching over to Linux from Windows are going to spend a lot of time understanding it because it is different than Windows, as far as basics are concerned. Mac users are going to find it even harder to explore through Linux.
Still, it is better to have important stuff saved in a Windows computer to make it accessible since a new user is always prone to make mistakes. Given that you put enough time and implementation, Linux can make your move over Windows or Mac operating systems.