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10 Major Reasons To Switch To Linux

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1. It Doesn't Crash

Linux has been time-proven to be a reliable operating system. Although the desktop is not a new place for Linux, most Linux-based systems have been used as servers and embedded systems. High-visibility Web sites such as Google use Linux-based systems, but you also can find Linux inside the TiVo set-top box in many living rooms.

Linux has proved to be so reliable and secure that it is commonly found in dedicated firewall and router systems used by high-profile companies to secure their networks. For more than ten years, it has not been uncommon for Linux systems to run for months or years without needing a single reboot.

2. Viruses Are Few and Far Between

Although it is possible to create a virus to target Linux systems, the design of the system itself makes it very difficult to become infected. A single user could cause local damage to his or her files by running a virus on his or her system; however, this would be an isolated instance rather than something could spread out of control.

In addition, virtually all Linux vendors offer free on-line security updates. The general philosophy of the Linux community has been to address possible security issues before they become a problem rather than hoping the susceptibility will go unnoticed.

3. Virtually Hardware-Independent

Linux was designed and written to be easily portable to different hardware. For the desktop user, this means that Linux has been and likely always will be the first operating system to take advantage of advances in hardware technology such as AMD's 64-bit processor chips.

4. Freedom of Choice

Linux offers freedom of choice as far as which manufacturer you purchase the software from as well as which application programs you wish to use. Being able to pick the manufacturer means you have a real choice as far as type of support you receive. Being open-source software, new manufacturers can enter the market to address customer needs.

Choice of application programs means that you can select the tools that best address your needs. For example, three popular word processors are available. All three are free and interoperate with Microsoft Word, but each offers unique advantages and disadvantages. The same is true of Web browsers.

5. Standards

Linux itself and many common applications follow open standards. This means an update on one system will not make other systems obsolete.

6. Applications, Applications, Applications

Each Linux distribution comes with hundreds and possibly thousands of application programs included. This alone can save you thousands of dollars for each desktop system you configure. Although this is a very small subset, consider that the OpenOffice.org office suite is included as well as the GIMP, a program similar to (and many people say more capable than Adobe Photoshop); Scribus, a document layout program similar to Quark Xpress; Evolution, an e-mail system equivalent to Microsoft's Outlook Express; and hundreds more.

For the more technically inclined, development tools, such as compilers for the C, C++, Ada, Fortran, Pascal and other languages, are included as well as Perl, PHP and Python interpreters. Editors and versioning tools also are included in this category.

Whether you are looking for Instant Messaging clients, backup tools or Web site development packages, they likely are all included within your base Linux distribution.

7. Interoperability

More and more computers are being connected to networks. No system would be complete if it did not include tools to allow it to interoperate with computers running other operating systems. Once again, Linux is very strong in this area.

Linux includes Samba, software that allows Linux to act as a client on a Microsoft Windows-based network. In fact, Samba includes server facilities such that you could run a Linux system as the server for a group of Linux and Windows-based client systems.

In addition, Linux includes software to network with Apple networks and Novell's Netware. NFS, the networking technology developed on UNIX systems also is included.

8. It's a Community Relationship, Not a Customer Relationship

Other operating systems are the products of single vendors. Linux, on the other hand, is openly developed, and this technology is shared among vendors. This means you become part of a community rather than a customer of a single manufacturer. Also, the supplier community easily can adjust to the needs of various user communities rather than spouting a "one size fits all" philosophy.

This means you can select a Linux vendor that appears to best address your needs and feel confident that you could switch vendors at a later time without losing your investment--both in terms of costs and learning.

9. It's Not How Big Your Processor Is...

Because of a combination of the internal design of Linux and development contributions from a diverse community, Linux tends to be more frugal in the use of computer resources. This may manifest itself in a single desktop system running faster with Linux than with another operating system, but the advantages go far beyond that. It is possible, for example, to configure a single Linux system to act as a terminal server and then use outdated hardware as what are called thin clients.

This server/thin client configuration makes it possible for older, less powerful hardware to share the resources of a single powerful system thus extending the life of older machines.

10. Linux Is Configurable

Linux is a true multi-user operating system. Each user can have his or her own individual configuration all on one computer. This includes the look of the desktop, what icons are displayed, what programs are started automatically when the user logs in and even what language the desktop is in.

And lastly no Bill schmendrick character telling you what you can and cannot do.


Fascinating. This is what I've posted elsewhere that says Linux isn't yet ready for my desktop.
If you can answer any of these issues, please do:
------------------------
I'm a willing user of Ubuntu Edgy, I'm keen to get Windows out of my life and my computers.

But there are three issues that demonstrate just how far Ubuntu, and maybe Linux, has to go to be acceptable outside a community that's geekier than I am.

1. Printing and scanning.

1.1 I have a Brother HL1240 printer, and have installed the HL 1240 ppd file from the Brother website. The printer accepts the first job sent to it, but then locks up. I have to unplug it for ten seconds and plug it in again before it will accept another print job. I've searched for this problem without result, and asked about this in Linux discussion areas but nobody has replied. So a printer that worked perfectly in Windows XP doesn't work properly in Ubuntu Linux on this machine.

1.2 I researched good photo printers for Linux and chose the Epson R800. After a great deal of hassle, I've installed the printer under CUPS Foomatic. Except that although it shows up in the printer list, and claims it's printing, nothing actually prints. So a brand new printer, installed according to the rather badly written documentation I downloaded, doesn't work in Linux.

1.3 I have a Microtek 4000tf film scanner. It works well in Windows. It doesn't work at all in Ubuntu. I've asked without result about this in Usenet alt.os.linux.ubuntu, and searched far and wide in the Linux and Ubuntu forums and discussion groups, but apart from an archived newsgroup posting in French saying how well it works, I've found nothing. The writer of the French email is no longer available at that address to describe what he did to make it work so well.

2. Networking. I have a router that links our various computers together. One of those computers runs Windows XP, and houses the playout system for our small radio station. I would like to be able to use my main computer (this one, in the den, running Ubuntu) to listen to and edit sound files, and write them back to the Windows computer. While I can see the files on the Windows computer, and transfer them to and from the Unbuntu machine. I can't listen to them and can't edit them without transferring the file, working on it, saving it to the Ubuntu machine and then transferring it back to the Windows machine.

I have looked into the concept of mounting a Windows network folder, have religiously followed various sets of instructions that seem to be about doing more or less that, but none of it works. I have tried to add a line to /ect/fstab. I get error messages like 'smb connection failed', which is just one step better than CP/M's infamous BDOS ERR ON A.

What's more, I can't see my other Ubuntu machine on the network. So networking looks to be a lot easier in Windows than it is in Linux. I don't know enough to be able to know where to look to find whatever it is that I am missing.

I've asked about this in Usenet and in ubuntu forums, but nobody has replied.

3. Sound editing software. Like many people, I've been using Audacity for simple sound editing. But for some reason, the version of Audacity that can be installed in Ubuntu is much older than the one that can be installed in Windows. This may be the reason that there seems to be a conflict with the sound system that means if I want to load and edit a sound file, I have to go into System/Preferences/Sound and turn of 'enable software mixing", at which point other sound functions may stop working.

I read somewhere that if I download and compile the newer Audacity, this may not be a problem any more. I don't know how to compile a program, and nothing I that I know about and have here tells me.

I've bought books on Ubuntu, but they tend to be about earlier versions, self-congratulatory and uninformative. I've written books on computer topics before, but I don't know enough to write my own book about this.

The Ubuntu Edgy Guide at http://ubuntuguide.org/wiki/Ubuntu_Edgy is no doubt a labor of much love, and contains interesting information on a number of things. But there is no topic search, and the paragraphs seem to be arranged by when they were written rather than what they are about, which makes it fairly unusable. The topic headings are also not always revealing of the topic in terms the newcomer can understand. And no, I don't know enough about it to fix it.

I agree that everything that is wrong is my fault, that I have made some mistake or misunderstood something or just not known something that is common knowledge among others. It's just not common knowledge among me.

I'm posting this is alt.os.linux.ubuntu, and in ubuntuforums.org in the hope of stirring up some answers that will actually solve these seemingly undocumented problems

Should I be moving to another Linux distro? Please don't waste time telling me to get a Mac or go back to Windows. I don't like Apple or its locked down proprietary DRM'ed products, and I don't want to go back to the offensive and expensive paranoia of Microsoft.

Philip

Let's extend that list a bit:
11. No BSA audits

It is, especially in bigger business environments, almost impossible to keep track of every single installation, even when using specialized software to do that. With Linux and Open source software, you can install away without worrying about having the correct number of licenses.

12. No proscribed update cycles

Many software contracts include fixed dates, when to buy the next update. These dates must be met in time, otherwise the rebates for the following updates are forfeited. Since Linux itself is free, there are no rebates necessary.

13. Lower hardware cost

An addendum to 12. Since the hardware demands of commercial application/OS grows which each new version, these forced update cycles are often followed by hardware upgrades. With Linux, these forced hardware upgrades are a thing of the past, allowing to use the full lifetime of the hardware. Oh, and did I mention, that older hardware often consumes less energy, especially when compared to the top end machines necessary to run Microsoft Vista.

Hi Philip!

Choose another distribution, preferably a distribution with a control center, like pclinuxos or mandriva. Ubuntu is great as long as auto-detection works, but sucks when you have to configure the system manually. As a windows user, you would probably be better of with an os that provide one "central" application for system configu´ration. Check out http://www.mandriva.com/en/download or http://www.pclinuxos.com/page.php?7. Personally I would recommend Mandriva, and uses it myself.

Philip, to share files between Linux machines, the normal method is either use one as server and the others as thin clients (XTerms), or else set up NFS with one or more as server, or else use ssh or scp to copy between machines. NFS does (or did) have security issues requiring a firewall between the LAN and the internet. Or you could use Samba so one is Samba server and others are Samba clients, or maybe all are both servers and clients (I don't use Samba).

If you use Fedora Core 5, and have yum configured to get programs from Fedora Extras, audacity-1.2.5-c.fc5.i386.rpm is available. You just type

yum install audacity

or I guess there is a gui for using yum.

http://rpmfind.net/linux/rpm2html/search.php?query=audacity

Phillip,

As far as printers go, one thing worth trying is to get something like an HP JetDirect and use the default drivers (RAW, CUPS Laserjet Generic) to print to it. As long as Linux can talk to the JD and the JD can talk to the printer, you shouldn't have any problems. An added benefit is that the printers can be easily shared between all your systems.

Phillip,

About a film scanners, heard about VueScan, but didn't try it myself.
http://www.hamrick.com/vsm.html
And it's not free.

If you want to use sound software for Linux, go check www.ardour.org
It is a DAW (digital audio workstation) and should cover all your needs (and even more).

Hi,
Interesting Post....
Thanks,
Software Development Company

very informative! keep it up!

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  • From Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
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