Every computer and mobile device has an operating system which helps it to function. One of the most populate operating systems for computers isn’t from Windows or from Apple. It’s from Linux. It is an open source O/S which gives people access to their computers so they can express their creativity, take advantage of their experiences, or prove their ingenuity.
The obvious advantage of Linux is that it is usually free to install and use. What are the other pros and cons of Linux? Here are some of the key points to consider with this operating system.
What Are the Pros of Linux?
1. It is less susceptible to malware, viruses, and other potential dangers.
The internet is a scary place when you think about it. Any website can become a malware nightmare. One phishing email or inadvertent download can install a virus. Unlike other operating systems, Linux can stand up to these potential hazards without requiring any help. Most users don’t even need to install anti-virus software on their computers because it is so effective.
2. It works on virtually any modern-era computer.
Older computer equipment struggles to run the beefy operating systems that Windows and Apple are releasing today. Even a MacBook Pro from 2011 can struggle to run the latest Apple O/S. Linux, on the other hand, can work with hardware that is more than a decade old without much of a problem. Maybe you can’t use it on your Tandy 386, but otherwise you are likely good to go.
3. It offers users a superior level of superiority.
Windows users have undoubtedly encountered the blue screen of death more than a handful of times over the years. Apple users can find their computers locking up, crashing, or refusing to allow them to input their password for access. Every operating system today is rather stable, but Linux is still a superior choice in this area. You will have fewer instances of needing to turn your computer off and then on again to get it to work right.
4. Modern internet browsers work with Linux.
Whether you’re partial to Google Chrome or Firefox, you can use your preferred web browser when you’re using this open source operating system. If you prefer Internet Explorer or Safari, then the other operating systems are going to give you a better level of support – but there’s a good chance you aren’t using Linux anyway if you’re using IE, right?
What Are the Cons of Linux?
1. Proprietary apps to Apple or Microsoft generally don’t work.
You can sometimes find third-party work-arounds to help you run proprietary apps on Linux, but this can sometimes take a lot of work. You can’t just install stuff like you would if you were running Windows or an Apple O/S. For those with limited technical skills in this area, it can become very difficult to use Linux. Because it’s open source, there are usually limited help options for people in this situation as well.
2. There is a definite learning curve to using Linux.
You can’t just boot up your computer, install Linux, and expect to have great results. If you’ve never used this open source operating system before, then you’ll need to set aside some time to learn how to use it. For some this process can be extremely frustrating because they’re expecting a similar experience to the operating systems they’ve used in the past.
3. Office software solutions are not as powerful in numerous ways.
Although programs like OpenOffice are a good substitute for Microsoft’s award-winning suite of office software solutions, they aren’t a direct replacement. You can get a lot of stuff done, but there are going to be specific tasks that you’ll want to complete which will take more time with open source software. LibreOffice is another open source option that has a similar problem.
4. You can’t run server-side programs that are specifically designed for Windows.
Many businesses use programs like SharePoint in the normal course of their operations. You’ll also find businesses using a Microsoft SQL server for their networking needs. In this arena, Microsoft offers a more powerful product. That’s not to say that Linux isn’t in demand, but it does mean you’re going to have fewer options available to you and likely be forced to pay more for an IT professional familiar with Linux.
The pros and cons of Linux show that with the right experiences, this operating system can be a cost-effective solution to your computing needs. Switching to Linux doesn’t have to be an all-in situation either because many use a combination of servers and operating systems today to meet all of their needs. Linux might not be perfect, but it is likely a solid solution for at least some of the needs you currently have.
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