Is Linux Right for you?
Why that answer is usually going to be yes.
Why should I switch to Linux?
This is a question I hear a lot of the time from people who run Windows are are quite happy with it. And for a lot of people, Windows in all it’s incarnations is usually good enough. But do you really want good enough? Do you really want to keep paying $300 every time you upgrade your computer, or the classic Microsoft toll for any system you buy with Windows installed?
If you have an older computer that works okay but can’t handle anything more then Windows 95, Linux can improve the speed and use of that system. If all you are doing is email and web browsing, you really don’t need the major features of Windows. Even music is doable easily in Linux.
What are the benefits?
The benefits of running a Linux system are numerous. For instance, you don’t have to worry about your resources being eaten alive by all sorts of under the hood Windows applications. Not to mention the more efficient and customizable usage of your hard drive.
Also, you have the whole of the free open source software available on the Internet. If there is a Windows program you like, there is a Linux program that will do the job.
You want to play games that are Windows only? Simply install WineX on your linux system. It is specifically tailored to run games from Windows. So you can enjoy fragging your friends and enemies no sweat.
Not all open source software is free though. Some of it you do have to pay for. It’s not all free beer, but it is free speech in that you will be able to look at the source code if you are o inclined to do so. Every version of the Linux kernel is available for download if you want to look at it. This is especially helpful for developers who need that info so they can create applications to run on Linux.
What about my stuff?
Well, if you’ve been a good computer user you have backups. If not, don’t worry. Linux is able to read data from any Fat16, Fat32, and in some cases NTFS partition so you can grab all your stuff without a problem.
Still, there are things you have to give up if you run Linux. Many of your external toys may not work anymore. But not to worry, most of them may have a Linux work around done by someone else who had the same problem. You can always google search and find a site that will help you with this problem.
There are tons of reasons why Linux may be your best choice. But here’s the big one itself. If you don’t want to pay for a distribution, you don’t really have to. Most every Linux Distro is available on the Internet. Just be sure you have a high speed net connection or know someone who does. 600MB is a lot to download.
If you want to try Linux, but don’t want to go all the way just yet, download a distro called Knoppix. This distro boots and loads everything you need for a working Linux system from the CD, without you ever having to touch the hard drive or fiddle with partitions.
In my next article, I’ll go over the various Linux distros and point out the ones that are best for newbies or those wanting to try Linux as their primary OS.