Download your favorite Linux distribution at LQ ISO.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!


  Search this Thread
Old 03-07-2006, 11:45 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2006
Posts: 7

Rep: Reputation: 0
Why Linux?

Just some hopefuly simple questions about why I would want Linux:

Can I run normal programs like AIM or other such things on Linux like I would in Windows? Is it easy to make my desktop look like those that I see on the internet?

What's special about it? Basically just why do I want to have Linux...what's in it for me...why make the change?

Old 03-08-2006, 12:08 AM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Australia
Distribution: Mandriva/Slack - KDE
Posts: 1,672

Rep: Reputation: 46
Didn't we just have a why linux thread?

Linux runs multiple apps better. Linux runs multiple desktops better. Linux networks better. Linux looks better. Linux works better. Linux can be more customized. Linux will run on a wider range on machines. Linux has more desktop environment options. Linux has a wide range of apps. Linux updates better. Linux is fresher. Linux is free. Linux apps are mostly free. Linux means you can stop stealing software. Linux runs malware a lot worse.

Break free of the chains...
Old 03-08-2006, 12:29 AM   #3
LQ Guru
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Sydney
Distribution: Centos 6.9, Centos 7.3
Posts: 17,395

Rep: Reputation: 2395Reputation: 2395Reputation: 2395Reputation: 2395Reputation: 2395Reputation: 2395Reputation: 2395Reputation: 2395Reputation: 2395Reputation: 2395Reputation: 2395
Indeed, & here it is:
Old 03-08-2006, 01:01 AM   #4
LQ 5k Club
Registered: Aug 2005
Distribution: OpenSuse, Fedora, Redhat, Debian
Posts: 5,397
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 908Reputation: 908Reputation: 908Reputation: 908Reputation: 908Reputation: 908Reputation: 908Reputation: 908
This is one of those questions which can never be answered to the satisfaction of the person asking. The only right answer is that it is exactly the same as Windows, and since it is not, there is no 'right' answer. The poser cannot objectively evaluate anything that is not Windows, because anything that is different will be perceived as 'wrong'. Some people are just like that. We all have some of that in us. Some moreso than others.

My $.02 worth.

--- rod.
Old 03-08-2006, 04:22 AM   #5
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Finland
Distribution: Suse 10, Suse-factory , RHEL4, SLES9, SLED10
Posts: 380

Rep: Reputation: 30
WHY not?


options,options, options, ...
Isn't it great, that you have choices YOU can make.

By that i don't just mean the choice of the OS.
For example in Linux one can use 10 different web browsers out of the box. Try this and that and use what you really like.

Linux and most of the programs are opensource. You can see how it was made and make improvements, also as it is available to all, there are fewer security holes.-> Community of users, people help others!

You can use it on intel/amd x86 or x86_64 on even on computers with ppc-processors.
You can customize you OS just the way you like it.
and so on...


It still lacks good driver support from the BIG companies like ATI and INTEL (graphics cards) .
It has got that geeky atmosphere all over the place
People try to re-invent the wheel, too many projects for problems that have already got a solution and good program.

So the answer to the thread topic, why don't you just test linux, and make your own conclusions
Old 03-08-2006, 04:38 AM   #6
LQ Newbie
Registered: Feb 2006
Location: Colombo
Distribution: slackware, suse,vector linux, fedora core, a few live cd's
Posts: 23

Rep: Reputation: 15
Well I've been useing a few distros as well . Believe me linux is the most coolest O/S in this planet. There are so many flavours to choose from. Online tutorials & support is available through sites like these. Been a newabi to linux the experience I've gained is awsome.

Old 03-08-2006, 05:49 AM   #7
LQ Newbie
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Hyderabad, India
Distribution: Red Hat, Fedora Core
Posts: 16

Rep: Reputation: 0
Well, while using MS Windows, we have to do whatever they (Microsoft) think is the best... On the other hand, while using Linux, we can do whatever we think is the best...
The answer is flexibility, stability and power...

Old 03-08-2006, 08:19 AM   #8
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: switzerland
Distribution: debian etch
Posts: 99

Rep: Reputation: 15
Originally Posted by mkemer87
Can I run normal programs like AIM or other such things on Linux like I would in Windows?
you can choose from several programs for AIM, ICQ, MSN, Jabber and other instant messaging services, Gaim for example (there's also a windows version of Gaim), Kopete is another one, or aMSN.

Windows programs usually don't run on GNU/Linux, although there's a project called WINE that lets you run some windows programs. Crossover Office is a special version of WINE designed to run Microsoft Office. Cedega enables you to run many Windows games on Linux. Most Linux versions (distributions) come with a wide array of pre-installed siftware, including Gaim and Kopete,, Firefox, Amarok, the GIMP, and many more, I never felt the need to use WINE.

Hundreds of non-preinstalled applications are just one click away through package managers. Upgrading all software packages is usually a one-click process.

You can try many linux distros using a "Live CD". Yes, you can try linux without installing it! Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Knoppix, Mepis, PCLinuxOS all offer Live CDs. Try them all, install the one you like best. You can even run (dual boot) Linux and Windows on the same computer. SUSE and Mandriva are popular too but don't offer live CDs.

Is it easy to make my desktop look like those that I see on the internet?
I don't know what you've seen. There are two big desktop environment projects for GNU/Linux, KDE and GNOME. Most Linux distros offer you to install both. GNOME focuses on simplicity, KDE on looks and features. They're both very customisable throgh different themes and icon sets, and if you want to you can even design your own.

What's special about it? Basically just why do I want to have Linux...what's in it for me...why make the change?
o Freedom. Most programs for GNU/Linux are free as in freedom.

o Virtually no spy-/malware and viruses. This is not because Linux is not as widely used as Windows but because it was designed to be secure. When source code is available, it is much more difficult to hide bugs and unwanted "features" from users.

o Openness. There are no limits (except for your skills) on what you can/can't do with linux. Nothing is hidden. No secret file formats like .doc, .xls etc. If you want to run a Web-/FTP-/file server from your home computer, it's there. If you want to become a programmer yourself, all the tools are there.

o it's free. you've got nothing to lose.

Last edited by stimpsonjcat; 03-08-2006 at 08:36 AM.
Old 03-08-2006, 08:46 AM   #9
LQ Veteran
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Annapolis, MD
Distribution: Arch/XFCE
Posts: 17,802

Rep: Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738Reputation: 738
Originally Posted by mkemer87
What's special about it? Basically just why do I want to have Linux...what's in it for me...why make the change?

I note that all your other posts are on the MEPIS forum--Why did you try Linux (MEPIS)? What did you **think** would be in it for you?

You ask why we like Linux--the answer may not be useful to you---kind of like arguing green grass against blue sky.

What do you want from an OS? If you want it to run "normal" apps (read MS), then get MS.
Old 03-08-2006, 10:10 AM   #10
Registered: May 2002
Location: New Hampshire
Distribution: Fedora Core 6 X86-64
Posts: 82

Rep: Reputation: 15
Keep in mind that:

If Linux didn't exist:

You'd be paying a lot more for your current o.s.
You'd have little or no choice in o.s.'s
You'd have to put up with many more bugs than your dealing with now, because the o.s. maker would be well aware that you have little or no choices.

Linux is for people who want to control their operating system and not have their operating system control them. As for the learning curve. You either have to spend time working to pay for you operating system or spend time learning how to configure your new operating system. It's your choice.

I think windows is great for gaming,but. I'm forever being pestered by friends and relatives who go online and then get their windows systems trashed. Then they call me to bail them out. I've told all of them that I'm slowly forgetting how to fix windows and really getting better at Linux. As a matter of fact. The only time I have to re-install Linux now, is when I install a new drive.
Old 03-08-2006, 11:08 AM   #11
Registered: Jun 2004
Location: MD USA
Distribution: SimplyMEPIS 6.0, openSuSE 10.2
Posts: 90

Rep: Reputation: 15
In addition to the points made in the previous posts, with most of which I agree, I am fast losing my willingness to pay people for making trouble for me. This applies equally to Microsoft, which I consider treacherous for its continuing misrepresentations of the quality of its products, and to Intel, whose Prescott chips are both suicidal and technically inferior to their Northwood predecessors.

I now have only two machines (both six-year-old Dells) running Microsoft on Intel. All the others run Linux on AMD, and they run faster, more reliably, and at lower power levels than they did with Wintel, making me much happier. I have just three reasons for keeping these two machines: they are fully depreciated, they both run Linux also, and I occasionally receive files that are easier to deal with on Windows.
Old 03-08-2006, 12:01 PM   #12
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2005
Distribution: Suse 10
Posts: 10

Rep: Reputation: 0
I wont sugar-coat the linux experience. Its a mthrfkr to get up and running the way you want it but when you do, the self-satisfaction is euphoric. The reason I have linux is mostly for research. I want a deeper understanding of how operating systems work.
I guess if you're like me and you like tinkering the hell outa your machine then jump in and try a distro. I started with Fedora Core and Ubuntu which were good enough for a n00b like me.

Last edited by bazaloo; 03-08-2006 at 12:04 PM.
Old 03-08-2006, 12:13 PM   #13
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2006
Posts: 7

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Are any Distro's more fun?

I've noticed that there are maybe hundreds of different Distro's out there for Linux. Are any better or more fun to use than others?
Old 03-08-2006, 12:45 PM   #14
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2005
Distribution: Suse 10
Posts: 10

Rep: Reputation: 0
What I've realized with the few distro's Ive used is that there's not much difference in terms of desktop interface and out-of-the box software. Most distros either use gnome or kde as their desktop and the software they come with seem to be same (to me at least). Reguardless, you can have as much fun with your distro as you want since the number of additional software you can get online (for free) is virtually unlimited and their pretty damn good and at times even better than the Windows equivalent.
My favorite app is probably mplayer (a media player). Its so quick and you can get a codec for almost any video/audio directly from their download pages!
If you talking bout hardcore gaming though you might need to keep Windows on another partition for that

Last edited by bazaloo; 03-08-2006 at 12:56 PM.
Old 03-08-2006, 02:03 PM   #15
Senior Member
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Lee, NH
Distribution: OpenSUSE, CentOS, RHEL
Posts: 1,794

Rep: Reputation: 46
Why Linux?

Why I chose it: the desktop environment is more powerful, more flexible, an alternative to the DRM-infested operating system from Redmond, WA. Also: almost everything (administration-wise) can be automated from a shell script.


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
link dies intermittently-seemingly at random- between win<->linux not linux<->linux?? takahaya Linux - Networking 10 03-09-2007 10:37 PM
triple boot linux/linux/linux No Windows involved toastermaker Linux - Newbie 12 03-02-2006 10:40 PM
Redhat (rhel v2.1) bootup problem with linux (linux vs linux-up) namgor Linux - Software 2 06-24-2004 02:49 PM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:35 PM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration