Why do so many computer enthusiasts turn to Linux? No, that’s not the start of some joke, it’s a serious question and one I think everyone should be thinking about.
I can’t speak for others, but I imagine their reasons for ditching Windows and Macs are similar to my own. In no particular order, here are some of the reasons.
Linux is Open Source. I won’t go into too many details here, but simply put Open Source means the code is freely available to view and modify. It also means you don’t have to pay a licence fee to use it. That’s great if you are an enthusiast as it means you can play around with different desktops until you find the right one for you.
Linux is secure. The default state of a Linux based operating system is that everything is locked down. Nothing gets installed without you giving it permission, which stops most ne’er do wells in their tracks. On top of that, as it is Open Source that means there are lots of eyes on the code, finding errors and vulnerabilities and fixing them much more quickly than on other systems.
Linux is diverse. There are countless different flavours of operating systems based on the Linux kernel, which means you can pick and choose the right one for you. As it is diverse, it makes it much more difficult and less worthwhile for criminals to target. Windows by contrast is a very big target, making it easy for those same ne’er do wells to make a tidy profit.
Lastly it has the tools to get the job done. I know I wouldn’t be using Linux if I didn’t think it had all of the software I needed. Sure some of the programs are different, but that in itself is not a problem. The important point is that they all achieve the same end results.
If you want to give Linux a try, there are a ton of distributions out there. We use Ubuntu and Linux Mint at South Downs Tech, but you can find all of the major distributions and others on DistroWatch.
I’ll leave you to ruminate all of this while I go and disinfect a certain laptop for the nth time. I’ll give you a little clue… it isn’t running Linux.