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Why Use Linux on your PC?

Why Linux?

Linux has a lot of advantages over the "usual suspects", including the following:

  • Linux is free!
    You can download it off the web (-or order a boot CD at minimal cost) : there is also no licensing cost for installing it to multiple PCs

  • Linux is available in lots of different “flavours”:
    If you have a particular use in mind for your PC, then there is probably a tailored version of Linux out there just for you

  • Linux is more suited to multi-tasking and security:
    Linux was designed from the outset as a multi-user, multi-tasking PC version of the most popular business O/S – Unix - which has been around for a long time and is used by most businesses to run their Data Processing departments

  • Linux is light on resources:
    Each version of Microsoft Windows seems to require faster and faster processors, more and more memory and takes up a larger amount of disc than the previous one. Linux is smaller and less resource intensive, allowing it to run on old hardware or low specification PCs

  • Linux is Open Source:
    This means that the code is available to anyone. What this translates to for the layman, is that there is an army of Linux developers out there tinkering with the code and producing fixes or enhancing the code – rather than relying on programmers from a single vendor company. As a result, intervals between major Linux releases are measured in months not years

  • Linux is portable:
    Generally speaking (-for example, assuming you are not relying on particular hardware specifics) code written on one flavour of Linux will run on all other versions of Linux or Unix with little or no modification

  • Linux software is generally free:
    In the spirit of Open Source, most Linux developers make their downloadable at no (-or trivial) charge. There is now a very large amount of software available : software is available for most applications

  • Linux help is widely available on the Web:
    As mentioned, most professional organisations host their systems on Unix or Linux, so there are a lot of professionals out there who are very familiar with it. As a result, anyone with a search engine has access to a huge knowledgebase of information on Linux


Isn't Linux just for Geeks?

There certainly was a time when Linux was rather intimidating for the home user but those days are long gone. With the advent of many Linux variants aimed at the home market, all but the most basic distros ship with a GUI similar to Microsoft Windows or Mac OS meaning that beginners need never drop to the command line underneath.

..all but the most basic distros ship with a GUI.. meaning that beginners need never drop to the command line..

The power of Linux is always there, for those that really want to get the best from their PC, but it is now hidden behind a user friendly front end. We hope to show you through our articles how Linux is just as easy to use as the alternatives except that the cost of ownership is much, much lower.


If Linux is so good, why is Windows so widely used?

In part, this is partly due to Linux' late entry into the desktop GUI arena and partly due to timing. The success of Windows can be compared to the that of the standard gauge railway in nineteenth century Britain: standard gauge was in almost all ways inferior to Brunel's wide gauge railway (-the Great Western line) but it won out purely because the amount of standard gauge line far outnumbered that of wide gauge. As trains became faster, the limitations of standard gauge became all too apparent - with the UK suffering, as a result, ever since.

In order to make progress, we sometimes need to take the approach of the French who, when building their train a grande vitesse (TGV), decided to take Brunel's example and build a whole new wide-gauge line to support their 21st century transport system. So it is with computers: we believe that in order to improve (-and provide better value) to the consumer, it's time to break with the past and move on to a new platform: Linux!


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