It’s a busy monday morning. You’re working non stop on that overdue report. Meanwhile, you might even have a couple of <insert favorite tv show here> episodes you missed being downloaded. Just when you’re about to finish things off, all of a sudden your screen goes off. The blue screen of death. Oh how I hate that wretched screen. If only there was a way around this. Sure you can scan for viruses and malfunctioning softwares. Worst case scenario would be to format your hard drive and reinstall Windows. But one fine day, I thought of going for an alternative. I decided to give Linux a try.
Now, its been a little over 2 months since I’ve gotten on board with Linux full time. While I do admit I miss some of the stuff from Windows, the better option remained to be Linux. Here are 13 reasons why.
1. No Viruses
No viruses, really? Well not exactly. No Operating System in the world can claim to be 100% secure from malware. But Linux does come close. Programs needed by users are usually obtained from a single secure location (Package Manager), as opposed to downloading from various websites. Furthermore, most of the malware targets Windows systems and Linux aimed attacks are extremely rare.
2. No blue screen of death
If you’ve been a Windows user as long as I have, then you’d be pretty familiar with the countless number of times your PC failed you. You work on something one minute and next thing you know, your entire screen goes blank. Your only left with a blue screen and an error message With Linux, system crashes are virtually non-existent. At least to me anyway.
3. Encrypted hard drive
Linux distributions such as Ubuntu gives you the option to have your hard disk encrypted. This means that should your hard drive be compromised, nobody would be able to access the data. Yes, Windows do have their own version called Bitlocker. But I’ve found the feature to be more convenient on Ubuntu since it can be activated from the moment you install the OS itself. On the other hand with Windows, you have to configure Bitlocker later on.
4. So many to chose from
Getting on board with Linux can be fun, particularly since it has quite a few options available. Users can get themselves a Linux distribution that suits to their specific needs. For example, if you’re into experimenting with hardware, you can use something like Raspbian. If you’re heavy on cyber security, Kali Linux is a good option. There’s even a version of Ubuntu for Media Center softwares like Kodi (formerly XBMC).
5. Give life to your old computers
Linux can work with computers that has RAM as low as 256MB. Of course not all versions will run under such low conditions. But at least you can put that old Pentium 4 computer into good use instead of throwing it away. I don’t remember Windows 10 being able to do that.
6. Faster updates
Windows users know how frustrating updates can be. The system has a bad habit of interrupting whatever you’re doing to make sure the updates get through. This is perfectly fine if the updates don’t take forever to install. Linux on the other hand provides a much larger and frequent number of software updates. They’re pretty fast too.
7. Programmer friendly
It supports pretty much every programming language. The terminal is better than what the Windows Command line offers for developers. Native support for SSH is given, along with the ability of bash scripting. so, if you know your way around programming, there’s quite a lot of nifty things you can do with Linux.
8. It’s free and open source
If you’re getting a genuine version of Windows for yourself, you’d probably spend close to $200 (Windows 10). How much do you have to pay for a Linux OS? Zero. Its also open source as well. Meaning you can see the source code of the OS if you want. This essentially makes the entire eco system itself more accessible.
9. Better customization
Like meddling with your system’s looks? This gives you a variety of options that sometimes you don’t get with Windows, from changing themes and icon images, to customizing how the system itself. Of course few options are available via softwares like Rainmeter on Windows. But the way Linux is built, offers better customization for the user.
Privacy is not something you can rely on the system to keep if you’re a Windows user. In fact, Microsoft got people to raise serious concerns over how it collects data in Windows 10. But if you’re on Linux, the system hardly collects your data at all. It doesn’t mean you’re 100% safe. But in terms of privacy, you’re better off with Linux.
11. Free applications
One of the main reasons why Windows users choose to stay with Windows is flagship softwares such as Microsoft Office. Pretty much each and everyone of us have grown up using these softwares. So its natural that preference goes to these applications. But Linux actually has their own flavor of softwares as well. The main difference being the cost. Its free.
Linux may not have Photoshop, but GIMP is still a pretty good image editor. Mozilla Firefox caters to all your web browsing needs. For videos, VLC player works well. For all you Microsoft Office users, the Linux alternative LibreOffice does most of what you need to do with Office.
But if you’re still adamant on using Windows software, Linux offers a program called Wine that allows you to execute certain Windows programs within the system itself.
Performance for general purposes is better as compared to Windows. Simply put, your entire processing power will not be consumed by the Operating System itself. But it should be noted however, overall performance of a computer depends on the PC hardware as well.
13. Community Support
Imagine you run into an issue and can’t seem to find the solution online. The many number of active community users on Linux forums will be there to help you out. Chances are you’ll get a reply or two on your posted thread within minutes. Community Support for Linux is much better in contrast to Windows.
Should you make the switch?
Although this offers a number of advantages over Windows, its far from perfect. Mind you Linux still has its downsides as well. For example, if you’re a heavy gamer, Windows might be a better choice for you. Steam has its share of decent games, but you can’t really play games on the levels of Overwatch or those old Assassin’s Creed games for that matter. Additionally, certain Operating Systems come with a few bugs here and there. On some systems, Ubuntu come with this annoying glitch where WiFi connectivity goes off on a regular basis. But even this is only among a very few set of devices and fixes are already available online in case you’re one of those few.
By now you know why, but should you make the switch to Linux? Well, that depends. If you’re a general user and you’re looking to get everyday work done without having to worry about the kinks of Windows, then Linux is your friend. But if you’re into heavy tasks like designing and video production, then maybe don’t have Linux as your primary OS.
There may be tons of reasons why one would continue to stick with Windows or Linux. I’ve listed mine above. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.