5 reasons to switch to Linux

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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!

Andy Merrett

10 comments

  • There is no reason whatever to use anything other than Mac OS X. Linux is more stable than Windows, but still essentially unstable compared to Mac OS X (or Solaris). Toy operating systems like Linux and Windows are just not useful enough, and do not offer enough bang to be taken seriously in real computing.

  • but how well does it syncronise with other machines running wondows? e.g. my smartphone and work pc

  • You forgot to mention you’ll always have the latest and greatest. No more waiting 5 years for an updated os. With Ubuntu you get the new toys to play with every 6 months. I switched 6mths ago and I’m loving it

  • I switched to PCLinuxOS nearly a year ago, and my only regret is not having done it sooner.

  • 6) Software piracy just isn’t an issue. While there are commercial packages written to run on Linux, these tend to be high-end applications that even power users will never need.

    7) Try Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS or one of the other liveCDs without touching your existing system at all. That’s one thing Windows and Mac just cannot offer: Boot from a CD, try it out, see how it works, all without installing _anything_ on your system until or unless you want to!

    Anyone who already uses FireFox, OpenOffice, GIMP and other free-as-in-freedom software will have no learning curve to use Linux, because those same applications run exactly the same way on Linux as they do on Windows or Mac.

    Visit http://distrowatch.com/ and see the huge variety of excellent general and specialized Linux distributions, each of which pre-certifies dozens, hundreds and even thousands of applications as functional and secure.

  • Linux is fine because you are more protected than windows but there are some applications that don’t work properly.

    • What applications don’t work on it. I see tons of applictions that work on Linux. You mean Windows applications don’t work. What do you expect its Linux not Windows.

  • I had an old Compaq laptop that struggled badly to keep up with the XP OS loaded on to it.

    So, I downloaded a Linux OS (Ubuntu), created a boot disk and did a clean install.

    The laptop, which had almost grinded to a halt, now serves as my nephew’s main PC. He listens to music on it, watches video and has no problems surfing the web with Firefox.

    I’m tempted to stick Ubuntu on my own laptop now – it’s easy, quick, reliable and free. Plus, there’s a massive online community to support you if you run into difficulties.

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