Advantages of using Linux
What is Linux?
Linux is an advanced and free operating system. It is used by businesses, organisations and individuals engaged in a variety of tasks, ranging from scientific to recreational. Most of the Internet is powered by Linux, as are all of the top 500 supercomputers.
You have probably already used Linux, since it powers many appliances, but perhaps most notably in the form of Android, which is a version of Linux.
Because of its advanced capabilities and large software repositories, Linux is a popular choice among professionals who want to concentrate on their work without the hassle of having to manage their computer too much.
Advantages with particular interest to businesses
In the context of business, Linux provides significant benefits over other operating systems. These are the main advantages of switching your business to Linux:
Linux is licensed as free software, and is not subject to the restrictive licenses that apply to other operating systems. In addition, the vast majority of Linux distributions is also free of cost. The same applies for the vast majority of software available for it, so you can use all of that without having to pay for anything or answering to anyone!
Software in Linux is organised in repositories, places where official and controlled versions of almost every piece of software reside. The Linux community maintains these repositories, and guarantees that the applications you download from them are updated and safe.
This form of organisation saves a lot of time for users of Linux. To find and download an application, you simply search for its name in the repository. You do not have to go looking for it around the Internet, verify that it is the latest version, scan it for viruses, etc. Furthermore, with a single click you can update all software on your computer!
Security and privacy
Being that it powers most of the Internet, perhaps it is expected that Linux would offer advanced security features. Its multi-user architecture helps segment and restrict each user’s operations. This way, a user can’t modify or damage anything beyond their own files. It is also much less vulnerable to viruses and malware compared to other operating systems.
Linux and its software ecosystem make for a well integrated, stable and fast-performing environment. It runs seamlessly even on dated hardware, which mitigates the need to upgrade, saving costs.
Ease of use and variety
There is a misconception about Linux that it is “geeks only”, and one needs to be a computer genius to use it. Even though it is indeed popular among advanced IT professionals, and perhaps it was a bit too technical many years ago, today Linux is not at all a “difficult” operating system.
In many ways, it is similar to other operating systems. It provides you with a selection of graphical desktop environments, and software which allows you to use the computer as a workstation, media centre, gaming station and so on.
Things to keep in mind before switching
- Make sure your must-have applications have a Linux version.
- Support for very new hardware can lag.
- Do some research regarding the technology literacy level required.
- You can try it before installing, through a live distribution.
Linux is in many ways a superior operating system that helps increase your productivity, while being free. If you’re looking for a stable, reliable and secure platform on which to base the everyday operation of your business, Linux is a great choice.
If you want to give it a try before deciding, most distributions of Linux offer what is called a live distribution, a way to run and try the operating system with its full functionality, from either a CD/DVD or USB flash drive, without making any changes to your actual system.
Some of Linux's most popular distributions: