Last Updated on March 12, 2021 by Calvin C.
Background of Linux operating system
If you have been following my blog posts you notice that I don’t mention Linux operating system that much. This is because it deserves its own separate string of posts and this is the first one. What is Linux operating system? Why Is it important? Let’s look into that in this post.
What is Linux?
Linux is an open-source operating system, that means anyone can modify, develop, distribute or use it for any purpose. Another popular open-source operating system is Android.
On the contrary, Windows, MacOS and iOS operating systems are not open-source.
Back to Linux…
This operating system is very popular and sits at the heart of a computer, handling all the tasks. It was first released in September 1991 and a number of big organizations have adopted Linux.
- Microsoft (yes, the Windows company also uses Linux)
Why is Linux used?
This operating system is actually better than the Windows in several ways. There are numerous loyal users of Linux who have adopted it as their main operating system.
It is similar to other operating systems you know, like Windows and MacOS. You also get Linux versions of software that you are accustomed to.
If you have not experienced Linux then I’ve got news for you. More than a ⅓ of webpages are generated by servers running the Linux OS.
This means Linux is a very important OS and that is why I decided to unpack all the essentials about this OS.
Most digital devices you have like stereos, recorders, wearables etc run on Linux that has been customized to suit the various applications.
Some components of Linux can also be found in Windows and that shows that this OS is indispensable.
Advantages of Linux include:
With Linux, you can take a peek at the source code and even modify it to your liking if you have the skills. This is not possible with Windows OS or MacOS where you have to wait for updates from the respective companies.
The OS is very stable
Have you heard about the “blue screen of death” in Windows? Well, not gonna happen when you use Linux and if there is a system glitch, it rarely takes down the whole system.
There are less system attacks by hackers unlike Windows OS which has vulnerabilities. Using an antivirus in Linux is unnecessary because it is built to withstand these attacks.
You can run Linux even on your old computer. There is less demand for specific system configuration, unlike in Windows where each OS upgrade comes with minimum system requirements.
In addition, running the installation process is faster and easier.
If you are a programmer, you need Linux
Almost all of the programming languages are supported by Linux. These include:
- Ruby to name a few
It’s easier to get things done on Linux, thanks to a better package manager as compared to Windows.
No defragmentation needed
Linux maintains its peak performance unlike Windows which slows down when there are registry errors, viruses,Trojans etc.
Since the Linux system uses a different format, there is no need to defragment the hard drive.
Effective OS updates
Updates are faster, more effective and are unlikely to break your system. Sometimes with Windows, an update may fail to address an issue.
In some cases, an update creates issues that require another update to fix them!
Windows is nowhere near Linux when it comes to customizations. You can easily tweak your system, change themes, icons and do much more.
Variety of distributions
Unlike Windows, Linux comes with distinct packages called distros tailored for various uses. You get distros for programmers, for hackers, for old systems and the like.
Whatever you want to do, even if you are a newbie, there is a Linux for you.
Linux is commonly associated with programmers and you may think the screen is boring but actually there is a nice graphical user interface.
The OS is command-line based
Another obvious advantage is that Linux is completely free! Yes, you don’t pay a dime to use it.
This is in contrast with Windows where you are set back at least $100USD to get your hands on the latest Windows.
Being freely accessible to everyone means there is a large community online that provides support.
You can easily find answers online concerning any issues or queries you have with your Linux OS.
There are companies dedicated to providing Linux support. These include Red Hat, SUSE and Canonical so answers are never out of reach.
Nowadays privacy is an important topic and you have to be extra-careful about software that asks for your private data.
As VPNAnchor, we push for more privacy and security. Linux doesn’t ask for much private data unlike Windows.
No system lag
Linux is definitely designed for multi-tasking without compromising system efficiency. This means if you want to do some serious work, this is an OS for you.
You can easily connect with other systems and servers when you use Linux. The level of connectivity is unmatched because there are various useful command-line tools that are employed.
You can run it without installing it!
Linux can be run efficiently, straight from a USB or CD without any issues at all. This feature is available in all distros and this separates it from Windows.
Ok, now we have listed the advantages, what are the disadvantages of Linux?
They are not many but these have seen most people not adopting Linux. These include:
Most Windows programs don’t run on Linux
The good news is that solutions are readily available to get around these problems.
You can still run your Mozilla Firefox and Chrome on Linux so it’s not a completely unfamiliar environment.
Fewer peripheral hardware
Windows supports more peripherals but developers are adding more and more support for other incompatible devices.
This means you have a smaller choice of printers, scanners etc
Need for familiarizing with the system
Since it’s a completely new OS, switching from Windows to Linux means you need to familiarize yourself with a new experience.
It doesn’t take long especially if you use the major Linux versions. Remember, there is plenty of support online.
The community is fragmented
Most users prefer a more stream-lined system where the provider does the heavy lifting for them and recommends the ‘best’ options out of the box.
On the other hand, Linux has numerous versions of one OS so it’s difficult for it to be adopted like Windows or MacOS.
Like what I highlighted, whatever your niche is, you find your version of Linux, from beginner to expert.
This gives rise to distro hoppers, who jump from one Linux OS to the next! Talk about having too many options 😀
Linux versions are too many such that a user base can shrink as users migrate to another version. This makes it difficult for software retailers to develop products tailored for a particular distribution.
On the contrary, it’s easier to develop software for one OS, like Windows or MacOS, because the user-base is well-defined.
Tech giants have no interest in Linux
This leaves Windows with the largest portion of the desktop market. Linux needs support from big companies to be able to take on Windows or MacOS.
For now, it is a dream.
Linux and VPN
WireGuard, the newest VPN protocol, runs inside the Linux kernel as a module. It is also open-source and top VPN providers are increasingly adopting it now that version 1.0.0 is out.
You can read more about WireGuard in one of the articles I covered. In the next post, we look at the best VPN services you can use for your Linux computer.
Our VPN of choice for Linux is NordVPN
If you made it this far, I suggest that you try Linux and give feedback on your personal experience.
Subscribe to receive our daily updates in your inbox and share the post with your friends.