Why I have made the permanent switch to Linux
Since I have moved to the Portland area, I have experienced several hardware changes - my laptop died which had Windows on it, my spare computer I was using died, and so I was left with my current system which is an older system, but still quite capable. Windows 10 runs on it fine and there are no issues with it. With that said, the change to Linux has been more or less motivated by how much I have grown in it. When we moved to Portland, I started working at my job which dictates that you have 'command line' experience in Linux. Having run a web hosting company in the past, I had that experience, and was able to get around in Linux, but I never really gave it much thought for daily use on my end. This changed with my job. While we use Windows 10 there, we exclusively work with our client computers which run Linux to install and replace printers, manage their network and other various duties.
Having had experience with Linux, I had stumbled across some information on a variant called Xubuntu which is a fork of Ubuntu Linux. For those who are not aware of Linux, it now comes in many different styles and functions. For example, the web server I am using to run this web site is running on Centos 7, while Xubuntu on my computer is based on Ubuntu.
I think an easy way to think of this is while we have many different automakers, they all do the same thing, produce a vehicle to get you from Point A to Point B. The interior, the gadgets, the engine they put in etc, are all different variations. You can go from basic to Luxury and beyond. The same can be said about Linux, you can go from very basic (great for older hardware), to Luxury which I suppose would be running with a Desktop interface like I do now.
The main reason I have made the switch full time to Linux is that if offers the same capabilities as any other modern operating system built today.
- You can use Chrome, Firefox, Opera or just about any variation of those.
- You can use LibreOffice or OpenOffice to create and edit Microsoft Office compatible documents with ease
- You can play music, videos, edit them, or do whatever you want with them with ease
- You can organize your photos with ease and edit them as well
- You can play many Steam based games on it.
SECURITY - Linux as a whole is almost always on the forefront of security and enforcing that the Operating System you are using is secure. There are often times when I will use my computer and it lets me know it was updated or a security patch was installed. While Apple and Microsoft do this as well, a lot of times, you are at their mercy when they release a patch. With Linux, you often get these patches on the bleeding edge, when they write it, and it is tested, they release it and do not hold on to it until their day they send out patches. Microsoft and Apple will stage these patches later on.
While secure, it is not prone to the same viruses or issues that Microsoft products do. This is partly due to the fact that Microsoft is still the leader in Operating Systems and hackers know this and pursue it. I am not going to make the promise that it is never prone to viruses, but it is nice to know that right now, it is not a big concern.
User Community - the user community built around Linux is ever expanding and is very friendly toward new users. I like to think of it as a growing community eager to help others join the community. Over the years, of running web servers and at work, I have always found the answer to a solution I have needed within seconds on-line. There are plenty of tech sites which produce beginners guides all the way up to the more technical and advanced use/administration.
FREE - The Linux operating system is free, there is no cost to own or use the software and most of the applications are free. While Apple so far has been offering upgrades to their OS X For free, and Microsoft with their Windows 10 now getting free upgrades, you still need to invest in the initial cost of purchasing the operating system then to be given updates whenever they decide to. With the increased incidences of Ransomware, hacks and other security problems associated with commercial operating systems, it is good to know that based on the Linux community and developers, a security hole is often plugged immediately. With the commercial systems, you are limited to when they decide to patch a flaw which can be weeks to months later.
These are just a few reasons that I have switched to Linux. It is not for everyone, but I think that every person is different and what OS they use is dependent on what they need. :)