Why I like Linux...?

linux-online-incOk, I recently blogged about what Linux actually is…now, obviously its not the whole package, but the basics of what Linux actually is in there. That blog was the first in a series of posts about my thoughts around linux, how it is, and how we can get more people on it, if we do want that.

This post is about why I personally like Linux.

So, I’ll start at the beginning. If you want 1 word to describe the first reason why I first tried Linux…it is “ME”. Don’t know for certain what that means? How about if I put a 7 letter word beginning with “W” in front of it? Thats right…Windows ME. I had a computer, in 2003, which didn’t have XP on it, it had ME (which was, until Vista, the worst version of Windows ever), and I was fed up of it. So, I investigated alternatives, and heard of this “Fedora” thing.

Now, for some reason, Fedora only came on about 4 DVDs at this point, so after a while, I gave up. A year or 2 later I talked to a friend about it, and how annoying it was about trying to get it on my computer, and he said “Why don’t you try Ubuntu?”, so I found Ubuntu, put it on a CD, and failed again. I was very annoyed that it wasn’t working, that i gave up until 6.06 came out. It didn’t boot off the cd straight away, but I didn’t give up this time. I investigated, and found a kernel boot parameter to get it to work.

That was the beginning of my delve into Linux, and since then, I have never looked back.

Currently, there are a number of things I love about Linux:

Now, I’m sorry, but I don’t wanna pay £100 everytime Microsoft decide to try and get rid of some bugs. I would have been happy to pay for Ubuntu 1 off, but not every year or 2, just to get updates.

I love getting the new features every 6 months with Ubuntu, and very often with other distros (am just trying Arch, I love the rolling releases). I also love the speed that they update the programs etc

Although some people only ever change their background image, with Linux you can change absolutely everything about Linux. You can change the packages installed, web browsers, file browsers, window managers, panels, widgets, themes, toolkits, design of panels and widgets and absolutely anything else you can think of.

When I get my desktop section set up on the blog, you will see how different my desktop looks from the default ubuntu desktop. I wouldn’t have it any other way. And this is a huuuge reason why I love it.

Ok, lets be honest, most people don’t actually use Linux because of this. Yeah, its an ideal, but its not totally possible just now. I feel that I would love everything to be open source, because it makes programs so much better. More eyes, etc. My opinion is, if I can get a free replacement for a program, then I will use it, but if nothing works as good as a closed-source one (for example, Nvidia drivers) then why cut off my nose to spite my face?

I need to have my computer working, and I would love everything to be opensource, but thats not how life works just now. Currently I use Nvidia driver and flash. I think these are my only non-free things on my computer.

Yeah, ok, claims about security are very overrated sometimes with Linux, but currently, there are less viruses, there are less security vulnerabilities that we know of. I will eventually have to have a virus scanner, yeah, but for now, theres really no need. As for speed, Linux can be as fast or as slow as you make it. Its as simple as that. Have a small machine, use TCL, or DSL. Have a big chunky one, use Ubuntu, or even something larger. I love it.

So yeah, these are my reasons for using Linux. It is such a long post, but I could have ranted on for ages about the amazingness of linux. Because it is fantastic. Full stop. You may not like it, but I do, and it can only get better. I think that it is so close to being totally ready for the mainstream, average people. And I’m going to try to prove this with a series of experiments on very ordinary people. Look out for that.