I love my Linux laptops and servers. Here is why.
What is a Linux computer?
Linux is an operating system, or more accurately the kernel that makes everything in the computer work together.
A Linux computer has a Linux operating system in the same way Microsoft uses Windows and Apple use MacOS or iOS.
Linux is very flexible and can be used in many ways.
Most of us use Linux every day without realizing it.
The majority of websites run on Linux. Most of our home WiFi systems run on Linux.
Many of our home appliances run on Linux: Smart TVs, Lights, Thermostats, Doorbells, Security Cameras, and the list goes on.
Major brand names also use Linux.
Android, Chromebook, iCloud, and some Microsoft systems run on Linux.
Saying Linux is like saying Ice Cream
Linux comes in many "flavors" called distros.
- Three of my desktop/laptop versions:
- Linux Mint looks and feels a lot like Windows 7.
- Linux Ubuntu is user friendlly and flexable.
- Linux Kali is loaded with tools for testing network security.
What about software?
Many Linux have open source software preloaded.
- Basic examples
- LibreOffice and OpenOffice are suites of Office software.
- Thunderbird is an email, calendar and contacts app.
- Inkscape and Gimp are graphic software apps.
- Firefox and Chromium are web browsers
Many software companies now have versions that run "in the cloud" and are accessed using a web browser, and can be used on Linux.
Why don't we hear about Linux?
Linux is so commonly used in so many different ways, it is difficult to create a brand name awareness.
Linux has not always been user friendly, as it is now.
Initially Linux was more commonly used by technology professionals, and not very user friendly for the average user.
Benefits of Linux
I love the stability of Linux. In ten years I cannot remember mine ever crashing.
If you have an old computer that will no longer run Windows, Linux will probably run on it.
Most software for Linux are open source or free.
Most commonly used software has a Linux version.
With more software being web based in the cloud, most software has a version that can be used on Linux.
What about security?
Are Linux computers more secure than Windows or Macs? Depends on who you talk to.
Google research found Linux systems are more secure than Windows or Macs. Some may claim the results are self serving considering Google's Android and Chromebook run on Linux.
When Linux has a security or software update, you are ask if you want to do it now, or be reminded.
Before anything can be installed you have to enter your password.
For the most part Linux does not have to have antivirus. Very few viruses will even run on on Linux, and you would be ask, do you want to install this virus.
Linux comes with its own firewall.
If some company calls you, or a popup claims you need to call them to fix your computer, remember you don't use their company.
Drawbacks for Linux
"Windows Only" or "Mac Only" software cannot be installed on Linux.
But as I said above, many software manufactors have either a Linux version, or a cloud/web version.
Some hardware manufactors do not support Linux. For example I have one printer that works with Linux, and another that does not.
There is the learning curve. Linux does do things different from Microsoft or Apple.
And there is technical support. There are tons of helpful information and videos on the Internet about how to do things in Linux.
But there are not as many tech-support people who know how to work on Linux.