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Old 03-01-2017, 08:55 AM   #1
Registered: Jun 2000
Distribution: Debian, Red Hat, Slackware, Fedora, Ubuntu
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What are the reasons you use Linux?

The Official LQ Poll Series continues. This time we're going to ask two related questions concurrently. In this thread: What are the reasons you use Linux? Click here for the other poll: What are the reasons you use open source software.

Old 03-01-2017, 09:35 AM   #2
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Registered: Aug 2016
Location: Maryland, USA
Distribution: Ubuntu
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Smile Re: Reasons I use Linux

My quest with Linux started with Knoppix when an old friend showed me its power. I didn't officially jump into the ring until I lost 3 copies of Windows XP Home due to viruses and discovered Ubuntu Linux (9.04 Jaunty Jackalope). I have always been into music composition and recording, and Windows software crashes far too easily. I hate being interrupted when I'm doing work. Ubuntu Studio has saved me thousands of dollars in plugins (LV2 free vs VST paid), as well as added capability (QSynth allowed me to use the old E-Mu SoundFont 2 files I bought many years ago). I have much more control over my graphic interface, as well as customization of software. I have actually DJ'd parties using Rhythmbox on Ubuntu Studio. My only gripe is that Linux audio drivers still don't work very smoothly. I would love for PulseAudio (the Linux equivalent of Mac CoreAudio and Windows Audio Subsystem) and JACK (the equivalent of ASIO and TDM drivers) to work much smoother with each other. It would be especially helpful if JACK was able to hot-plug multiple input devices and multiple output devices without creating an asound.conf . I am not a programmer, and never claimed to be; this is a suggestion for devs.
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Old 03-01-2017, 10:42 AM   #3
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Hell, Arizona (July - 118 degrees)
Distribution: Slackware 14.2 soon to be Slackware 15
Posts: 699

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I started using Windows in 1990, I think we had Windows 286/386, and shortly afterwards Windows 3.0 came out. I spent many years after that cursing the instability of Windows, dealing with lost data and lost productivity when Windows BSOD'd yet again. I wasted many hours reinstalling this and that yet again.

Disgusted with Windows, I turned to Linux to see if it was any better. And it was! It worked, it just worked! Hardware driver hell - gone. DLL hell - mostly gone. Bloated corrupted registries - gone!!! Reinstalling everything again and again and again - no more! Calling Microsoft on the phone because I can't activate my legal paid version of Windows - Never again!

I use Linux because it just works, something Windows never did well for me. I don't have to waste time and money getting it going and keeping it going.

Linux. It just works.
Windows. I wish it would just work.
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Old 03-01-2017, 10:54 AM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Florida, USA
Distribution: Multiple
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I got involved with Linux to help me learn Unix for my job. This was back in late 1998. I bought Red Hat 5.1 and installed it on an old, unused 486 DX-4/120 I had. I spent a lot of time over the next couple of months, learning as much as I could about Linux (and hopefully Unix as well), and by the time I truly felt comfortable using Linux, my mind-set had changed so much that I pulled Windows NT off of my other computers at home, and installed Linux. Over the years I've used most of the major distros, and a lot of the minor ones as well. I'm currently using Xubuntu on my desktops and laptops, the latest Slackware on my "dev" computer, and Debian stable (Jessie) on my home file server.

Why am I using Linux? because I like the "Unix way", it fits me much better than Windows or Mac OS ever did, and I've grown very comfortable with it.
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Old 03-01-2017, 11:17 AM   #5
robert leleu
LQ Newbie
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: France
Distribution: Ubuntu 11.04
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software is brain

I appreciate that brains found a way to share, rather than to become capitalists.
The resulting population of Linux implementation is the honour of mankind
7 members found this post helpful.
Old 03-01-2017, 11:46 AM   #6
Registered: Feb 2002
Location: Tallahassee
Posts: 34

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Why do I use "Linux"? Idealism, engineering.

I'm not a techie, just a relatively normal person who has a curiosity about some technology, especially commputers because of how they enhance my life (not gaming). I am an idealist who, after a period of learning about spirituality--not religion--and seeing the universal admonition to serve others and inherently abhoring corporate capitalism, I read an article about this OS that was developed entirely with volunteer effort (not true today, of course), I was enchanted, not just interested. Then I learned that it followed the engineering adage of an engineer's job's being to design himself out of a job, that is, to do it right the first time, and that, accordingly, GNU/Linux was designed with security and integrity in mind from the beginning. I was hooked before even installing and using it. This was in August 1998. And I knew I wanted Debian, it's being the most truly Free OS, designed with security and integrity.

But, though I'd downloaded/installed and used the Phoenix (now Firefox) web browser in my Windows 95 (given to me in a home-built computer by a super techie), Ubuntu was the first distro I installed. Though I fought with Win95 for a few years while installing and normally using various distros in auxiliary partitions, I didn't jetison Windows until I got a second computer. I kept the Windows box for a dedicated Windows program I used regularly but normally used the Ubuntu box. I've never looked back and never been sorry, only ecstatically happy with it, exulting in my never having to clean the cache, defrag the hdd, or install and regularly run a few security programs, pay for software and update/maintain it all separately. Today I use Linux Mint 17.3 with KDE on my computer, my girlfriend's, and on a friend's computer.
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Old 03-01-2017, 12:09 PM   #7
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Registered: Mar 2006
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Reason for using Linux

I have been using the same window manager for twenty three years - no need to learn something new.
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Old 03-01-2017, 12:23 PM   #8
Registered: Jun 2006
Posts: 32

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I started using Linux at work, and quickly realized its superiority to Windoze in so many facets. I then realized the # of home applications for Linux, so I built a home file server/NAS based on Ubuntu. I upgraded the hardware and made the switch to CentOS mainly because that's the command set I was used to, with my main exposure coming from RHEL.
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Old 03-01-2017, 12:23 PM   #9
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Registered: Oct 2004
Distribution: Arch
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What are the reasons you use Linux?
Everything that one would use a desktop/notebook machine for.

Internet access http, https, ftp, email, videos, audio, BitTorrent, podcast...
Scripting with bash, python, ruby
Compiling executable code with gcc
Word processing, spreadsheet viewing and editing, pdf viewing and creation, text
Video, audio, optical disk processing and storage
File server, video server, home entertainment center
Sometimes http, ssh server, CAD, math
Television viewer/recorder with tuner device
Streaming radio player/recorder
Graphics creation, viewing, storage
Creating, managing databases with mariadb, MySQL
Huge base of open source software that is constantly added to
50 different distos that should match any ones need
A Kernel that is constantly adding more functionality
The list would be shorter if one listed what one could not use a linux machine for.
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Old 03-01-2017, 12:43 PM   #10
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: ks
Distribution: openSUSE Tumbleweed
Posts: 495

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I use Linux all the time

I started using Linux in 2002 after I built my first computer. I didn't even know I had done a smart thing when I bought a hardware modem. I use openSUSE Tumbleweed for everything and anything computer/internet related. I use Linux more than my Mac.
Old 03-01-2017, 12:59 PM   #11
LQ Guru
Registered: May 2005
Location: Atlanta Georgia USA
Distribution: Redhat (RHEL), CentOS, Fedora, CoreOS, Debian, FreeBSD, HP-UX, Solaris, SCO
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Mainly for work. I was a full time UNIX Administrator and in the mid 90s we admins installed Linux workstations. At a later employer we began migrating application tier (vs database tier) to Linux. At my current employer we were using Linux for a variety of purposes such as Nagios monitoring, DNS and Sendmail. We migrated Windows and UNIX based web services to Linux. We later began migrating more and more application tier systems from UNIX to Linux as well as setting up other systems (e.g. CUPS print server, Openfire instant messaging). We also began trying to offload what we could from Oracle DB to Postgres or MySQL. Later we migrated our main Oracle database tier systems to Linux and as of about 3 years ago 90% of our *nix systems were on Linux rather than UNIX. Last year we finally retired the one environment that was still running UNIX for both application and database so now all our *nix is Linux. We're ramping up containerized apps and Couchbase to replace some of our Oracle stuff.
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Old 03-01-2017, 01:05 PM   #12
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Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Northeastern Michigan, where Carhartt is a Designer Label
Distribution: Slackware 32- & 64-bit Stable
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I've used Linux -- Slackware specifically -- since the 90's (don't actually remember). It what on a set of CDs loaned me by a sysadmin friend. Could be 3? Dunno.

I'm old fashioned. I spend a lot of time in a terminal. I spend some time in LibreOffice. I spend some time in Firefox, some more time in Thunderbird (and, every so often just for grins, I fire up Sea Monkey 'cause I still sort of miss Netscape).

I appreciate stability, I appreciate the ease of making it a desk top or a couple of servers (which don't get booted for months at a time).

I appreciate that it's not branded and is as close to the developer's releases as possible.

I appreciate that I don't have to screw with it, it just works (if you let it).

Don't want anything, don't want a Mac, don't what anything that has a Microsoft on it.

I'm just a happy camper and have been for a long, long time.
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Old 03-01-2017, 01:18 PM   #13
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Registered: Nov 2006
Posts: 20

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Three functional reasons I use Linux:
(1) Legacy gear; It runs on all of that still-OK hardware that 'new' windows OS will not (e.g., my fleet of Dell Latitude 600s).
(2) Control over software 'bloat;' CPU & memory (mostly) do my apps, they don't fade my windows in and out and other frills.
(3) Security; systems are secure without using 3 processors for host-based security and 1 for my apps. (I don't disable SELinux).

Personal reasons: Control over my data (Do you know where your 'Cortana' is today?); Freedom from click-and-wait, click-and-wait, click-and-wait, click---you know what I mean (although there are a few Lx desktops that deliver this experience for those who have forgotten how to use a keyboard).
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Old 03-01-2017, 01:50 PM   #14
LQ Guru
Registered: Nov 2008
Location: Pictland
Distribution: Linux Mint 21 MATE
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I'd dabbled from time to time with Linux but didn't move over for many years because I was very comfortable with DOS, Windows 3.11, 95, 98, XP and finally Windows 7.

The main reason that I moved over and now use Linux? Windows 8, 8.1 and 10.

The respective triumvirate of straws that broke the camel's back. I realised that my comfortable Windows 7 environment was simply not sustainable in the long-term.

Of course now that I'm using Linux, the advantages of being here are more numerous and I'm *really* enjoying it and the community, but when it comes down to it, I didn't come running over with open arms at the first sign of Linux, I came over because my relationship with Windows gradually became more and more abusive (GUI shenanigans, privacy intrusions, forced updates, lack of choice, pig-headed "We know better than you do" attitude etc.) and so I finally stood up and said "Enough!". :-)

Last edited by hydrurga; 03-06-2017 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 03-01-2017, 01:58 PM   #15
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: Nacka, just outside of Stockholm, Sweden
Distribution: Manjaro Mate, Ubuntu Mate, Debian
Posts: 22

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I started using Linux at the Royal Institute in Stockholm in 1994 as I couldn't afford to buy a good enough OS for a couple of computers. Mac OS multitasking sucked and MS Windows was not stable enough so we started testing Linux early spring 94 and in spite of having to implement our own drivers for many things we were hooked. In the summer 1995 I started using Red Hat on my home computer and since then I have tested most of the "big" distributions. Right now I am back to Red Hat in that I use Fedora 25 on my work station. My servers are running Debian and at my old job at KTH (Swedish acronym for The Royal Institute of Technology) the servers I used are still in use and running Ubuntu Server Edition.

I have promoted Linux and freely helped students to start using Linux since 1997 until late 2012. I retired dec 1 2012.

Nowadays my main reason to use Linux is that it is the OS I know.

Other reasons: Security, resource efficiency, no bloatware and I am a lousy MS Windows user so I stick to Linux.
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