Advantages and Disadvantages of Linux

Advantages and Disadvantages of Linux

Advantages of Linux:

Most Linux distros are free..... users do not need to pay for a copy, but this is only one aspect of freedom enjoyed by Linux users! In addition, Linux distros can be freely downloaded and legally installed on as many computers as you want and freely (and legally) given to other people.

In most cases, there are no software license agreements; you are free to do virtually whatever you want with Linux. Because most distros are open source, you have access to the source code and can customize Linux to be whatever you want it to be; you can even create your own distro if you like!

Linux is easy to install! In many instances, it is actually easier to install Linux to your computer than Windows. Click here to learn more about how to download and install Linux to your computer [1].

Installing Ubuntu using Wubi:


Linux is very stable! Linux systems rarely crash, and when they do, the whole system normally does not go down. The "blue screen of death" familiar to Windows users is not a worry for Linux users.

Linux is less vulnerable to computer malware!
Because most computer
viruses are designed to attack Windows, the odds are considerably less for Linux to be infected with a virus than Windows [2].

The same holds true with spyware, trojans, and worms; Linux systems are simply not as vulnerable to these types of malware because Windows viruses will not run natively in Linux. While Linux malware does exist, they are very few in number and none have become widespread [3]. However, it is strongly recommended that Linux users still use an antivirus to protect themselves and to protect their friends who use Windows when sharing files with them [4]. In Linux, files must be made to be executable by someone with administrator privileges, which requires a password. So even if a Linux virus is loaded on a Linux computer, it will not be able to run without the user who has administrator privileges allowing it to run. Another important aspect of Linux security is the fact that it is open source.

Because the programing code is available for anyone to view, there are many eyes constantly examining it, which makes it highly difficult for malware to be hidden within the code [5]. With this being said, it is recommended that people install an antivirus in Linux to provide an additional layer of security. Here are some resources with more information about Linux security and why Linux computers are much less likely than Windows to ever become infected with a virus:

Why Linux is More Secure Than Windows [6]

Do I Need an Antivirus Program on Linux? [7]

The Big Ol' Ubuntu Security Rescource [8]

Ubuntu Documentation: Antivirus [9]

Linux Security for Beginners [10]

Linux Malware - Wikipedia Article [11]

Linux does not slow down over time!
Unlike Windows, Linux does not become bogged down with spyware, viruses, trojans, etc., which can greatly reduce a computer's performance. Also, because Linux does not have a registry like Windows, it is not plagued with registry errors which can slow down a computer over time. Finally, the hard drives on Windows (especially Windows XP and older) computers need to be defragmented on a regular basis in order to maintain faster performance, due to being formatted in NTFS. On the other hand, because Linux is formatted in a different way using ext4 among others, there is no need to defragment a Linux hard drive.

Linux can breathe new life into old computers!
If you have an old computer laying around, you can install a Linux operating system and in essence have a new computer. It will run faster and you can do all of the basics such as browse the Internet, email, play games, and create and edit documents, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations. It should also be mentioned that Linux runs great on newer computers as well.

With Linux, you have so many choices in a wide variety of distros! Linux comes in all sizes and flavors, which offers a wide variety from which to choose the distro that will best suit your needs. Another advantage of this variety is the innovation that is taking place in the Linux world because it is open source. You can learn more about different Linux distros by going to distrowatch.com.

With many Linux distros, you have access to free software which numbers in the thousands!

Popular distros such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and OpenSUSE offer excellent software repositories within their package managers where virtually any type of software can be downloaded and installed to your Linux system for free. This includes just about anything you can imagine, such as games, educational software, office suites, and much more! Even the smaller distros, such as Peppermint OS, Vector Linux, and Puppy Linux have their own software repositories. One very nice aspect of these repositories is that the software found in them has already been tested for compatibility and safety. For example, the thousands of free and open source software found in the Ubuntu Software Center has been tested and examined by Ubuntu, so a user can be confident that the software will be compatible with Ubuntu and will not include malware.

The Ubuntu Software Center:


A superior method of updating software!

With Windows and Mac OS X, it is very common for users to install additional software which comes from many different places. For example, a Windows user may have iTunes, Mozilla Firefox, Adobe Reader, and Google Earth installed, all of which receive critical updates from separate locations. With Linux distros such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint, OpenSUSE, PCLinuxOS, Fedora and many others, the majority of any software needed can be downloaded, installed, and updated from a central package management system provided by the distro. This
provides a more smooth software updating process for Linux users.

Other Linux advantages! Click on the following to read a couple articles about Linux advantages:

Linux, the Ultimate UNIX [12]

10 Reasons for Switching to Linux [13]

Disadvantages of Linux:

Many Windows programs will not run in Linux.

iTunes, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer and many other Windows programs will not run natively in Linux. The good news is that there are decent ways around most of these problems. For example, music libraries can be managed with an iPod using programs such as gtkpod, Amarok, or Rhythmbox in Linux. Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are outstanding Internet browsers which can be used in the place of Internet Explorer. It is also possible to run iTunes in Linux using Wine, VirtualBox, or Parallels, though it is difficult to have good results. OpenOffice is an excellent office suite which can be used in the place of Microsoft Office, but while overall compatibility is good with Microsoft Office formats, it is not perfect. Click here to learn more about Windows software and their Linux equivalents [14].

There is a smaller selection of peripheral hardware drivers for Linux. There is a smaller selection of peripheral hardware drivers (for printers, scanners, and other devices) in Linux as compared to Windows, though many new Linux hardware drivers are constantly being added. Closely related to this issue is the fact that not all Linux distros work with all sets of computer hardware, so a person may need to try more than one distro to find one which works well with his/her computer. When it comes to printers, some manufacturers offer better Linux support than others; for example, HP offers excellent printer support for Linux. Click here to learn more about Linux hardware compatibility [15].

There is a learning curve for Windows users who are new to Linux.

Despite this, most Linux distros, especially the major ones, are very intuitive and user-friendly. Also, the desktop environments in Linux are in many ways similar to Windows in their appearance. One thing which should be emphasized is that there is also a learning curve for Windows XP users who switch to Windows 7. Click here to learn more about the major Linux desktop environments and to see pictures of them [16].

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