“In a world without walls, who needs Windows!!” is undoubtedly one of the boldest statements ever made. However, this article is not to diss windows. Still, it introduces you to arguably one of the finest pieces of software ever made that powers many computer systems, from refrigerators to guns, from your smartphones and PC to larger servers, from light bulbs to rockets.
Linux – a term commonly used interchangeably with Linux-based OS, is an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991, by Linus Torvalds that evolved into an operating system. Linux-based operating systems are called Linux distributions or distros, in short. Distributions include the Linux kernel and supporting system software and libraries, many of which are provided by the GNU Project.
Linux is an alternative to operating systems like Windows and MacOS. Still, unlike other OSs, Linux is completely free, and it is open-source that means its source code is freely available to whoever wants to view it. Some of the many known distros out there are very beginner-friendly and can give a pleasant experience even if you are not a tech geek. Still, if you are a professional or just curious, you can play around with the code and change the look and feel to meet your requirements without any constraints. Even if you mess up, you can reinstall it, and it is free after all!
Linux is not so popular just because it's free. It is jam-packed with features and advantages that one should check out, and we will see them later in the article.
To put it simply, Linux is owned by the community. Anyone with appropriate skills can contribute to Linux as it is open source. A collective mind of users and enthusiasts working together to carry the Linux operating system as far forward as possible owns Linux. However, the trademark on the name “Linux” rests with its creator, Linus Torvalds.
You don’t need to pay anything to use Linux. Just decide a distribution you want to try, download it from its website and install it. You are good to go.
Linux is one of the most secure systems present out there. With an entire community of people worldwide working every day to find vulnerabilities and fix them, any risks can be spotted and fixed quickly.
Linux systems are also more secure from viruses and malware, so you don’t need any antivirus software.
Linux is designed to be very lightweight. You can install Linux on an old computer with low specs, and it will work just fine. You will find some specific lightweight Linux distros tailored for old computers.
You can even fire up the OS on a raspberry pie and small IoT devices.
Now, this is a feature most Windows users will die to have. How many times has your work stopped just because your computer wants to install an update?
Linux doesn’t force you to update. Also, it allows users to download and install updates in the background while letting you use your computer simultaneously. No need to reboot; it not only updates your system but your installed software as well. Intriguing right?
This makes Linux the most obvious choice for enterprise and servers.
Being open-source, Linux allows users to customize their system to the very last bit without any constraints.
The Linux community is so big that the chances are the solution is just a google search away whenever an error occurs in your system. Tons of articles and forums are there to solve the issue.
Linux has several hundred distros customized to suit your requirements. The most popular ones are:
Linux Mint and Ubuntu: These distros are very user-friendly and have a familiar look to windows. It is most popular among new users.
Elementary OS: If you are coming from Mac, this OS is for you. It has a UI very similar to Mac.
Fedora Linux: It’s the most up-to-date Linux distribution with all new concepts incorporated at the earliest possible opportunity.
Arch Linux: It is a compelling Linux distribution, but you can have a tough time using it if you are a beginner.
Kali Linux: A Linux distro especially for hackers and security experts. It has many tools and software preinstalled that are needed for hacking and is very popular among cybersecurity enthusiasts and professionals.
Linux is a very powerful and easy-to-use OS for anyone ranging from an average Joe to a computer scientist. But the main idea behind Linux is freedom. Freedom from greed, freedom from using underproducing proprietary software that companies force us to use.
The Price of open-source software like Linux is priceless. In a world filled with overpriced software, Linux and other open-source software present an alternative for people who want to get out of the dominance created by tech giants.