Struggling along on your Windows-based PC and considering moving over to Linux?
Here are five reasons why you should make the switch.
1. Lots of free software available
If your PC doesn’t already have a Linux distro (the geek cool name for a particular distributed version of the operating system) installed on it, and you’re a tech-head then you can generally get the Linux operating system itself for free
If you want support and instructions on setting it up you can pay a software company for this.
However, once it’s set up and running, you’ll find a wide variety of useful software packages already available that will let you do pretty much anything you’re likely to want to do.
It’s true that there are more versions of Linux available than of Windows or Mac OS X, but you can find out more about the user-friendly Ubuntu flavour of Linux in Duncan’s How to get all the music and software you want for free and legally talk.
2. Works a treat on netbooks
In fact, Linux in general works very well on less powerful PCs, and transforms a sluggish Windows computer into a much faster system.
Some netbooks come with Linux installed, while others are crippled with Windows XP. Stick Linux on your portable PC and give it a new lease of life.
3. You support open source software
In other words, you’re sticking it to the corporations and standing up for free community development.
The advantage of open source software is that you typically have a large number of people working on new features and bug fixes, and if someone comes up with a cool new idea it becomes available to everyone else.
4. It’s secure yet connected
Linux is generally considered to be one of the most secure operating systems around. It’s used as the foundation of the Apache web server and is based on the rock-solid UNIX operating system.
Though it’s secure, it’s still very well connected, and it’s easy to network a Linux-based computer to hardware, networks and the Internet.
5. It’s very reliable
Something Windows users struggle to say, Linux is an incredibly reliable operating system, meaning it’s very unlikely to crash or need restarting on a regular basis.
It also doesn’t get sluggish over time and even operates well if your hard drive is nearly full (though it’s probably time to invest in another hard drive anyway) which is a common complaint of some other operating systems.
Should you switch?
Linux does require a bit of getting used to if you’ve only been using Windows or OS X, but the investment of time to learn to get the best from it could well be worth it.
Ditch Microsoft and Apple and embrace the penguin!