Often, whenever I recommend for someone to try Linux or for them to use it instead of their current operating system, I’ll get asked “Why should I use Linux?” or “What’s so great about Linux?”
There are many advantages to using Linux over other operating system, and in this article I’ll list just a few out of a list of so many.
Linux is Free
Usually considered one of the biggest reasons for someone to use Linux is that it’s free. It’s free in both price and is free as in freedom.
Linux can be downloaded and installed onto your computer completely free of charge, and from there you’re free to customize and change the operating system however you see fit.
Much of the software and applications available for Linux are also open-source and free of charge. If there’s a program that costs you money, chances are there will be a free open-source alternative you can use.
Not only are fewer viruses made to infect Linux, but with how Linux is designed the few viruses that are made for it can’t do much harm.
Because Linux doesn’t have anything similar to the registry in Windows for viruses to install themselves to and it doesn’t give up root (Administrator) privileges easily, viruses don’t affect Linux as much as other operating systems.
Also, virus makers tend to ignore the minority and will often go after operating systems that have a larger user-base, and because so few people are currently using Linux, that makes Linux users the minority.
Linux is Fast
Anyone that has ever used Linux will agree that it’s incredibly fast, and with boot times less than half that of its rivals.
It accomplishes this through a mixture of it’s small hard drive footnote (Some Linux distributions only use 50MB of your hard drive), the type of file system(s) it uses, and its simple design all help to make Linux a very fast operating system.
Since Linux primarily uses the ext3 and ext4 file systems, you almost never have to defragment your hard drive and you wont experience your computer’s speed diminishing over time like operating systems that use the NTFS or FAT32 file systems.
Because Linux is primarily used as a operating system for servers, it is by design, meant to be very stable. You will rarely experience random crashes our computer lock ups and freezes when using Linux, and if you do it usually will only require a simple fix to get things back to normal.
Which Linux distribution you choose will determine how stable your operating system install will be. Some Linux distributions will rarely update, sometimes only updating once a year or two.
While keeping things updated may sound like a good idea, unless the updates have been thoroughly tested they can often cause many issues, and so distributions like Slackware and Debian will keep updates to a minimum to ensure maximum stability and will only issue updates after they have been tested to perfection.
For those of you who wish to have the latest updates and bleeding edge features, you have the option to install a different distribution that will update more frequently.
Regardless of the frequency of updates, thanks to the basic design of Linux, all distributions are very stable.
In my opinion, one of the greatest things about Linux is its community. There are many websites and forums full of helpful and knowledgeable people that will aid you in your journey to learning Linux.
While every community will have its fair share of bad eggs, in my experience these are few and far between. By and large, most of the Linux community will be some of the most helpful people you could ever wish to meet.
There you have it, five excellent advantages to using Linux over other operating systems. While there are many more reasons to use Linux (And even some to not use it), my advice would be to just try it and come to your own conclusions. Perhaps after trying it you’ll have your own list of advantages as well.