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Old 04-18-2008, 07:39 AM   #1
zoretech
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Linux advantages


I would like to learn more about Linux OS, may someone please list for me some of it's advantages over Windows?
 
Old 04-18-2008, 07:46 AM   #2
jimmy512
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I find linux to be:
  • Faster
  • More reliable
  • Nicer community
  • You configure it once - never needs doing again
  • Stable (mostly)
  • Free!

However:
  • Watch out for drivers for scanners and some very new printers.
  • If you want to play games - look elsewhere for now
  • Steeper learning curve than windows
  • Some say it is more difficult to configure - I disagree

If you are going to make the switch, make sure you get a nice graphical distro which should configure itself, like ubuntu or pclinuxos. This will make learning the basics easy. Then, if you want, switch to something more challenging like debian or if you have the time, gentoo.

People ask me why I use linux. The real reason is because it is fun to play with, mess up and then try to fix.
 
Old 04-18-2008, 07:51 AM   #3
eco
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I'll second that!

It's a steeper learning curve but it's so much more fun and interesting. You move from a 'click, next, click, ...' environment to one where you learn to understand what is a mail server, web server, networking, ...

Be warned though, once you start it's very hard to go back to windows.
 
Old 04-18-2008, 08:23 AM   #4
Emerson
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http://www.whylinuxisbetter.net/

Security should not be underestimated, hi-tech malware may be injected into any Windows computer and reside there undetected. Frankly, the idea going online with a Windows box gives me chills.
 
Old 04-18-2008, 08:49 AM   #5
jimmy512
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Oh yeah. I forgot. Better security and almost no viruses. Thanks Emerson.
 
Old 04-18-2008, 09:06 AM   #6
eco
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If we start going down that road we can start talking about

choice - several desktops to chose from, web servers, mail servers/clients
cost - Free OS, Free office suites
ease - most distro will let you download what you need and install it for you streight from the net (emerge, apt-get, yum, ...), you just can't beat that!
networking - No netbios RFCs are followed.
...

Malware and viruses... never heard of them...
 
Old 04-18-2008, 09:57 AM   #7
unSpawn
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...and adding to all of that:
- It doesn't do vendor lockin: you don't need "Linux Advanced Desktop" or "Linux Experimental Server" to run certain applications.
- It adheres to standards: next time you upgrade you'll still be able to open documents, access a database or talk to networked clients.
- It comes with access to software: no need to "buy" or "leech" software. *Not all the applications are covered but for some there are alternatives.
- It comes with the Open Source promise that if you want to change something, you can. No need to beg vendors for half a year to fix things.
- It is versatile: you can run a webserver, database, mailserver, Bittorrent tracker and whatever else you can think of.
- The OS and software are highly adaptable and configurable in different ways.
- It is reliable. Machines can run years without problems. (OK, depends on how you define "problem")
- It is fault-tolerant (the kernel, and to some extent).
- It's easier to work with software: no need to reinstall software when things don't work.
- Working with it can give you an understanding of things from like how protocols work or how to hack up an application to cooperating with fellow developers and interacting with users to ancient problems, like for instance how *not* to write documentation ;-p
 
Old 04-18-2008, 10:25 AM   #8
arochester
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http://www.whylinuxisbetter.net/
 
Old 04-18-2008, 10:35 AM   #9
John-in-France
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I agree with most of the comments. As a new boy, I did find that to use Linux effectively you must get out of the idea that understanding the structure of the system is not necessary. In fact you have to understand it to use things like Grub properly.

I tried several distros before settling for Fedora which I find can do everything I need other than games. On the question of configuration (second post) I say only that, yes you have to configure your system. With Windows, trying to change how it organises things is positively dangerous. Back in the 1980s I came up with the idea that I would keep my data in one place, my operating system in another and my other programs elsewhere. 'sfunny sounds a bit like the structure Linux uses?

So why in 2008 does a certain system insist that "Documents and Settings" are always on "C:" when as part of its setup up it identifies all available drives? and every piece of software automatically defaults to the same idea? But perhaps that has all changed with Vista?

Also, unlike Windows, almost every distro I've tried virtually encourages you to dual boot and certainly makes creation of the necessary bootloader a piece of cake.

Create some free space on your hard drive and have a go - I don't think you'll regret it.

John
 
Old 04-18-2008, 12:12 PM   #10
superdog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy512 View Post
I find linux to be:
  • If you want to play games - look elsewhere for now
Not really true, I love to play games. It is actually my main reason for having a pc. It should really say If you want to buy games from Electronic Boutique and have them just work out of the box, then look elsewhere.

There are many excellent games for linux and a few commercial ones. Then of course there's wine for trying to get windows games to work in linux. As long as you don't mind a bit of extra work/hassle then playing games is fine in linux.
 
Old 04-18-2008, 12:25 PM   #11
Hoth
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It's not that there's a steeper learning curve -- if anything it may be easier, since it doesn't need maintenance. It's that most people don't clearly remember when they learned DOS in 1990, and have been using its descendants ever since.

To me, the main advantages are easy configurability (so much more can be customized in KDE than Windows XP Home at least) and the selection of quality software available to me as a person without a budget to blow on software (the ease of finding/installing/updating that software in the package manager being a part of the appeal of course). If you tend to purchase a lot of software then Windows or OS X are probably better for you, but as far as free software nothing beats Linux.

Quote:
Originally Posted by superdog View Post
Then of course there's wine for trying to get windows games to work in linux. As long as you don't mind a bit of extra work/hassle then playing games is fine in linux.
Personally, if I wanted to run any Windows-only programs, I'd be running Windows. It just makes sense to use the right tool for the job. Wine is a real pain -- you never know if it'll actually work, or whether some little feature will crash everything even if it does start. It takes a very motivated person to put up with Wine, just as it'd take a very motivated Windows user to put up with cygwin.

Last edited by Hoth; 04-18-2008 at 12:31 PM.
 
Old 04-18-2008, 12:31 PM   #12
Labman
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The biggest problem with Linux is that to too much of the community using Linux is playing a game. When new people can use it without playing with it, them maybe it will put the hurt on Bill.
 
Old 04-18-2008, 12:39 PM   #13
Hoth
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I gather you were born with computer knowledge implanted in you. Otherwise you would've had to play around with DOS/Windows for the first little while to learn them. Unless of course you were trained on them at work, in which case you could take a class on Linux (which, actually, was my introduction to it back in '99).

The fact of the matter is that most people don't want choice or change, and they only know how to operate a computer by memorized procedures. Windows will be very popular for many decades to come because nobody wants to learn a new skill after all the time they put in to learn Windows decades ago. The worst thing Linux could do is appease these people by becoming a Windows clone. Forget popularity and stick to being the best.

Last edited by Hoth; 04-18-2008 at 12:40 PM.
 
Old 04-18-2008, 01:01 PM   #14
superdog
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I wasn't born, I emerged... with a zx spectrum in one hand and binary clock in the other

I agree about wine being a pain sometimes. My main point was that there are many native games for linux. I consider myself primarily a gamer. I have tons of games, RPG's, First person shooters, card games, strategy etc etc etc and don't even get me started on emulators Some of them are, shall we say, less polished than many commercial games, but many are just as good if not better than their commercial counterparts.
Quote:
The worst thing Linux could do is appease these people by becoming a Windows clone. Forget popularity and stick to being the best.
hallelujah Brother, and Amen to that.

Last edited by superdog; 04-18-2008 at 01:14 PM.
 
Old 04-18-2008, 01:39 PM   #15
jschiwal
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This is more of a comparison of Open Source vs Propriety.
  • Transparency
  • Trustworthiness
  • Freedom
  • Security (see transparency)
  • Flexibility

Open source is vetted by many eyes. If someone tries to slip something shady in code, he or she is "taken to the wood shed".

On the other hand, the top Open Source programmers are like rock stars. I'm sure you've heard of Jeremy Allison. Can you name a Window's network programmer?

Being transparent, bugs are fixed at a faster rate. A mature OS program may have started out with a comparable number of bugs but they are sorted out quicker. Also, development is ongoing. In a propriety project the team may be disbanded to work on the next project even though there are outstanding problems. This is somewhat dependent on how many programmers are involved in a project.

Even Internet Explorer was abandoned for a time before MS got serious competition from Firefox.

Linux uses commented text files for configuration. Compare this with obscure (and sometimes binary) entries in the registry.

Linux has an excellent record in fixing security problems quickly. There isn't a list of known defects kept hidden and ignored until it is discovered that crackers have known about it all along.

---

One of the favorite things I like about Linux is that you can experiment with servers and programming. When I used Windows, I would have to spend hundreds of dollars for a decent programming environment. Running a Windows server was unthinkable due to the expense.

IMHO, Linux helped Open Source reach critical mass so that now even Windows users benefit.
 
  


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