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Why Use Linux?

Posted by Mark on September 24, 2008

There is no way that I can list all the possible reasons to use Linux, but I can list the reasons I, a somewhat technically-inclined person, am giving it a try.

  1. I am tired of Windows giving me broken applications and incompatibility issues with no fixes available. With Windows I feel like I’m at the mercy of the companies involved (in my case Microsoft and Toshiba, primarily) for solving my hardware incompatibility issues (that should never have been issues). If they don’t feel like I’m an important enough market, they probably won’t release a fix. With Linux I am at the mercy of a community of people just like me (well, hopefully a little smarter), who respond in a much more personable way. Besides, with Linux I can edit the system myself and create a fix if one doesn’t exist. More difficult at first, but probably worth it in the long run.
  2. I want a faster, more stable, more efficient operating system. My old Toshiba Pentium 4 laptop is struggling under the weight of Windows. Linux has given it rebirth. Boot time, application load time, even the internet all seem to run more smoothly and quickly.
  3. I figure this is great practice for building a Hackintosh. This way I can get familiar with things like the command line interface, patching, and learn how to diagnose problems and find/create solutions. Since OSX is a Unix-based OS, it will be very easy to apply knowledge learned here to what will be required to build my own fully-functioning mac.
  4. It is absolutely free. Just go to http://www.ubuntu.com for a free download or a free CD.

That said, there are some down sides, I recognize. For example:

  • Problems will come up that are difficult to fix. This is ok, though – Linux is about teaching yourself how to have more control over your system. It’s ok if problems come up – and even if MORE problems come up versus Windows – as long as there is a route to fixing it. That is the guarantee of Linux, the way I see it, and the basis of its advantages over any closed-source OS.
  • It will take more time (at first) to do things I am used to being able to do easily in Windows.

The big question is whether the time/effort investment will yield worthy returns. I am hoping the answer is a definitive yes. Expect the answer to that question to come in about 6 months.

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