Thursday, 26 June 2014

Is Linux Better ?


Well, the answer is a big YES! For the Windows and Mac OS x fans my answer may seem to be biased . Take your time to read this article and trust me, once you get to know Linux, you will never turn back.
Mac Os x is also based on Unix, and hence similar to Linux in most cases. But the obvious thing is that it is proprietary, plus the Apple hardware and products are, I think too costly for an average middle class person.



Now let us come to Windows and do a comparative study :



Security:




Whenever I think of Windows, the first thing that comes to my mind is the annoying anitivirus software, and the never ending fear of getting your PC infected no matter how regular you keep your anti-virus software updated. Well switch to Linux, and forget the terms like “malware”, “spyware”, “virus”, etc.

Linux is Open Source and gets regular security updates and patch-ups. Also its file structure doesn't allow those malicious software to play with your valuable data.



Speed:




Does you Windows gets slow down day by day ? Spending hours to just "defragment” your hard drive? Softwares like Ccleaner and TuneUp utilities can be seen in any “well maintained” Windows PC. The file management of Windows has some flaws which result in accumulation of temporary files, broken registry entries and fragmented partitions. I have seen many people using Windows saying “I need to format and reinstall Windows again, as my PC has become very slow”.

Linux beats Windows here. You will never have to worry about defragmenting your hard drive till it is 80% or more full. Also temporary files are efficiently removed by the OS itself. As Linux doesn't have any “registry”, forget about broken registry entries.



Hardware:




Linux is very flexible and promising when it comes to hardware and resource utilization. Linux will work like charm in even very old machines, thus giving them “a second life” !

Some of you people may say that Windows XP will also run better in those machines than the new versions of Windows. But do I need to mention that XP is no longer supported? In case of Linux, distros like Lubuntu and Xubuntu are very light weight, and you never have the fear of losing support.



Drivers:




In Windows, after a fresh install you need to install the drivers for each hardware, which is really tiring. Also each time you plug in a new USB drive, it takes a good time to detect and install the software for the drive. Switch to Linux and forget about drivers, as you do not need to install them at all! Linux automatically finds the peripherals in your system, just plug in and you are ready to work. Surprised?



Searching for Softwares:




Hey Windows fans, do you spend a good amount of your time over the Internet, searching and installing software ? And yet in many cases you do not trust the source, right?

Linux has a fully featured software managing tool where you can find all the software under one roof. Just click the install button and viola! Your software gets installed easily. While installing software from the software center, you also don't have to worry about the source as all the sources are verified ones.





Crapwares:




These are a real pain in the ass...in Windows, you must have to double check the installation options for a particular software so that it doesn't install any of those unwanted “toolbars” along with, in your PC. And not only toolbars crapwares include all unnecessary software that get install along with your base software.

Switch to Linux and forget about “crapwares”. Installing from the software center installs only the software you want.



Updates:




You are working on your Windows PC, and suddenly a pop up appears... “A new version of Adobe Flash Player is available, click to download now!” Start the KMPlayer, another pop up saying “A new version is available. Click to install now.” gets displayed. Are you tired of updating each and every software separately? And should I need to mention the weird long time taking Windows updates asking you to reboot every time you install them?

Get rid of this in Linux. Here you update your OS plus all the software with a single update button on the software center. And you are not asked to restart your machine provided the core system updates are not installed. Even if it asks you restart, you can keep on working easily on your PC, and restart when YOU want.



Softwares:




Let us be frank on this topic. All of the Windows users, more or less use the “cracked” versions of most of the important softwares. Also, if you want to be a “good guy” and buy licensed versions, can you estimate how much do you need to pay for the license of each major softwares like the Antivirus Software, MS Office etc. ?

Switch to Linux and feel the power of Open Source where you get professional level softwares and that too free of cost, with out any nasty trial pop ups and cracks.

A common thinking is that “Branded” softwares are better than the Open Source alternatives. But wait, this is just a naive ideology. The Open Source alternatives are more or less equally powerful and productive.

Also, most of the MS default preinstalled softwares are a real crap! Take notepad and Windows Media Player for example. I won't mention Internet Explorer as it has gone through a lot of improvements recently ;)

After all, you always search for a good text editor and a good media player. In Linux, you will not have to look outside. Linux users are very lucky in case of text editors and music players ( for videos, we always have VLC and SMPlayer )



Customization:




Linux, compared to Windows is highly customizable. There are a large number of Desktop environments (DEs) available. And if you don't like GUI at all, you can completely remove it! My last blog post has some of the pictures of the many DEs available in Linux.

So, in Linux, it is YOU who choose how your desktop looks like.



The Command Line:




The Windows Command Line, better known as the DOS prompt or the Command Prompt is lame and doesn't have that much of power. Most of the works are carried by the GUI methods.


However, in Linux you get a powerful command line which gives you full control over your system. So Linux lets you get closer to the system, which Windows will never allow.

Also the Linux command line interface is is very customizable, enabling you to change font, foreground and background colors, adding transparency and even setting up a background wallpaper ! Click on the picture below to see it :





Cool tweaks and graphical effects:




This one is my personal favourite. Are you a big fan of the transparency effect of Windows 7 ? Do you think Linux is boring ? Then you need to change your views immediately. Many of my “Windows user” category friends get jealous of me when I show them the cool desktop effects I have in my OS. In this case, once you switch to Linux, you will find Windows rather dull...


I am posting some of the pictures below which will definitely tempt you for Linux. Click on the pictures to get a better idea...













After such a long list, here are a few points when I would suggest you not to switch to Linux:


You are a hardcore gamer and use PC mostly to play games:



Due to proprietary issues, not much of the games are made for Linux. But in Linux we have a software, Wine, which allows it to run Winodws softwares smoothly in most cases. And at the extremum, we always have “Virtual Box” or the VMWare Player ;)

The same is for some proprietary Windows softwares which you always need.



Your hardware is still not supported:


Linux dosen't need external drivers because it already has the necessary modules for the hardware in your PC. Though most of the hardwares are supported, some of them are still not supported by Linux. A very common example is the rt3290 blue-tooth adapter.

But day by day, more and more hardwares are being supported and this problem will get eliminated soon.





If you have made up your mind, and all set to switch to Linux, stick by the following points:



  • Firstly , decide whether you want to install Linux along side Windows or want it to be the only OS in your PC ? I will recommend the later one because the former may give some awkward results if not done correctly.



  • Now before installing, try the Live CD of your favorite distro. A Live CD is a wonderful feature of Linux that allows you to test Linux booting from the CD itself. In this way, you can check whether your hardware is supported in Linux or not.



  • When you are done with the above points, don't haste into installing Linux and removing Windows. I strongly recommend that newbies must get to know the OS first. As you are switching from Windows to a complete different OS ( which has a different directory structure ) it is better to get yourself familiar with Linux first. Try installing Linux as a virtual OS ( using VMWare player ) in your Windows PC. Feel free to explore the directories and get yourself familiar with it.
When you are confident enough, you can move to Linux, saying good-bye to Windows forever...

Good luck !



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