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WTF Is Linux: Overview And Benefits

Aug 31, 13 WTF Is Linux: Overview And Benefits

Whenever considering operating systems, most people have a choice similar to apples (not that Apple) and oranges. 95 percent of all laptops automatically come with the latest version of Windows installed and supported by Microsoft; and the alternative to that is paying up to twice as much for an equally pre-installed and fully supported operating system by Apple. Both of them have their pros and cons and as much as the internet likes to look at this like it’s a World War II battle where your side is the Allied forces and the opposing is the Axis Powers, let’s take a look at the Switzerland equivalent, Linux.

What is Linux?

Linux is a Unix based operating system, and its primary feature is the freedom of usage allotted. Since the early 1980’s, Linux has been free to use due to the efforts of Richard Stallman, the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation. Along with making Linux free, these efforts made it a highly open source, allowing users to edit and create their own unique operating systems free of both DRM and bloatware.

Benefits

So small!

Aside from being free, Linux OS’s come with many benefits from the get go. The first of which is that every one of the many (extreme emphasis on many) distributions takes up minimal hard drive space; normally anywhere from about 20MB to a maximum of 4.5GB with no added bloatware.

Customizable!

When I say customizable, I don’t mean you can place your task bar on the top of the screen or you can change your rocket dock, I mean you can change everything. Literally. Don’t like the look and size of an icon? Change it. Don’t like the start-up sounds you programmed in to sound like a phaser from Star Trek? Change it, preferably to a lion roaring or something manly. Everything is subject to change as long as you have the know-how and the time to do it.

Virtually no Intrusions

With the NSA spying on everything we do and both Microsoft and Apple both collecting our information for themselves and the government in the name of “freedom and safety”, lately the thought of viruses and phishers have faded into the backdrop as people just gradually care less because its already out there and one security leak away from being public information stamped on the side of a metro car. And while Apple claims that there are no viruses like a dying man in denial, Linux really has no viruses. The reason for that is because it’s harder for most entry level script kiddies to code for Linux as it is for Windows, along with the fact that the Linux user base is considerable smaller.

Free software

Just as another side bonus, the amount of free software and applications is astounding. Virtually everything which has been made for Windows or Mac has been replicated inside of Linux OS, including Gimp (Photoshop) and Microsoft Office (OpenOffice). That’s in addition to the expansive library of free software ranging a wide variety of uses and applications.

Now as much as I would love to say it’s a great program and you should get it, I need to give you the other side of the coin before I let you throw it into the slot machine.

Image Credit: Jaroslav Machacek / Shutterstock

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