I know despite the posts about how great Linux is and why I like it, many of you are probably still hesitant to try Linux. I understand. I remember years ago when I first heard about it, even I was slow to try it at first. After all, Windows just worked. Everything I needed Windows would do, so why bother trying something else that may or may not work for me. Of course, back then, Linux was quite different from what it is today.
Over the years, Linux has evolved to become one of the most powerful operating systems in the world. In addition to computers, did you know that it powers a wide range of devices including routers, switches, your smartphones and even your televisions. That’s right, when your fancy television boots up chances are its running a customized version of Linux. Most web servers today are powered by Linux as well, including the one that is serving this site out to you.
As you can see, Linux is more popular than it ever has been. But, it has failed to capture a huge share of the personal computer market. That market is consistently dominated today by Windows 10 followed behind it by Apple’s Mac line of machines. However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a great laptop operating system. In fact, it is one of the best out there. Most people just don’t realize it. After all, Linux doesn’t have a million dollar marketing budget to tell us how good it is.
Instead, it relies on people like me to drill it into your heads about how great it is and why you should try it. So today, I wanted to give you ten reasons you should try Linux today so you can begin your journey towards free computing and a life of not having to answer to Microsoft or Apple for your computer needs. Shall we get started?
1. It’s Free!
We all know about the costs of Windows these days. Sure, Microsoft offered a free Windows 10 upgrade, but that offer has long since past and these days you have to buy it if you want a copy of it. While you don’t have to pay for macOS, you do have to buy one of Apple’s expensive computers to be able to use it. This isn’t the case for Linux. Linux is offered completely free and you can download and install it whenever you want on any type of computer. If you want to save a little money or at least stop giving your hard earned money to Apple and Microsoft, then Linux is the way to go.
2. Better Security
Viruses and malware are a huge problem on Windows machines. It just isn’t safe to do anything on Windows without installing an antivirus application first. While it’s better on macOS, more and more viruses are appearing for the platform. The same can’t be said for Linux. Because of its secure nature, viruses find it very difficult to function on the platform. Because of this, malware and viruses are very few in number on the system. That’s not to say they don’t exist, because they do, but the number is far less compared to all other platforms.
3. Great for Older Laptops
Do you have an older system that is just too slow when running Windows? We’ve all been there. Linux, however, is very small and lightweight. Install it with a lightweight graphical interface and you have an operating system that is just as powerful and feature-rich as the industry leaders but it doesn’t need near as much processing power to do it. This is a great way to revive an old system and get even more time out of it before you finally have to retire it for good. You will find that your old system will run just as well as a more powerful system if you choose the right distribution.
4. Perfect for New Laptops As Well
While Linux is great for older systems, if you have a brand new system then you definitely want to install Linux. Because it is so lightweight, you will find that if you choose Linux as your operating system you will that you have a system that is faster and more powerful than you could have ever dreamed of. Linux really does know how to take advantage of the hardware you have, so install it on that new beast of a system you have, be it laptop or desktop, and see how much faster your experience is compared to using the resource heavy Windows.
5. Drivers Included
How many of you hate hunting for drivers for the hardware you buy? I know I do. It seems everything needs a specific piece of software to power it on Windows and even on a Mac. On Linux, things are different. It uses open source drivers developed by the community and will install everything you need automatically so you don’t have to go on a driver hunt every time you install a new piece of hardware. That doesn’t mean that you won’t have to do it occasionally, you will. But for most hardware out there, Linux already has a compatible driver ready to be used on your system.
6. Amazing Software Repositories
One of the biggest concerns I hear from people considering a move to Linux is software. A lot of mainstream software doesn’t run on Linux, after all. We have become comfortable using these applications and often wonder what we would do without them. I have to say, the vast libraries of software available for Linux is quite staggering. The database of software is well organized and you can easily find software to replace your favorite applications in a matter of minutes. In many cases, the software will be better and more advanced than the commercial version, as well. If you want great applications, then look no further than Linux.
7. Easy Updating Process
Software updates are a necessity these days. Not only do they fix bug and give you access to new features in your software, but they also protect you from various security risks and threats that have been identified. We all love to hate the Windows update process that takes forever and sometimes will even interrupt you when you are using your machine. The Linux is process is much different. It will notify you when you need updates and then run them for your if you say it’s okay to do it. If you don’t, then it will wait and tell you again later. When you run them, they run in the background instead of interrupting what you are doing. When finished, they will request an update which you can do at your convenience. The entire process is simple, easy to do and it won’t interfere with what you are doing.
8. Beautiful Interface
In the past, many people felt that Linux just looked, well, ugly. And they weren’t wrong. Linux has lagged behind in many ways when it comes to eye candy in your operating system. That’s because Linux has always emphasized function over fashion. Sure, Windows has looked good for a while, but who cares how good it looks if it won’t even work. In the last few years, Linux has come a long way and today’s modern graphical interfaces look great and in many ways are even more beautiful than the Windows and Mac desktops. You don’t have to worry any more about losing eye candy just because you aren’t using macOS or Windows anymore.
9. Community Support
How many of you have browsed troubleshooting posts in Windows forums but you never quite find the answer you are looking for? If you do, you encounter rude posts and just annoying people. I know, I’m right there with you. Linux, on the other hand, is quite different. It has been supported by the community since day one. In fact, it’s really the only way to find the answers you need. For the most part, Linux users are welcoming to new Linux converts and are more than willing to help them with whatever question they may have. They will even walk you through the processes you need step by step so you can get your system tweaked and fixed the way you want it.
10. Gaming Continues to Improve
I must admit, Linux does continue to lag behind Windows in the world of gaming. However, I would say it is about equal to gaming on a Mac. This is really thanks to Steam and SteamOS. This system built on Linux has allowed many developers to port their games to the Linux system so you can play them without Windows. Every day we get more and more titles released for the platform and it only looks like its getting better. Still, there is a long way to go, but if you make the switch, you will still be able to play a lot of different games made for Linux.
As you can see, access to Linux is easier than ever today and the interface and operating system has evolved and matured into a system that is easy to use and one that you will enjoy using day in and day out. With Linux, you will never have to worry about security again and you can gain access to some of the best software out there. On top of that, it won’t cost you a dime. I don’t know about you, but I love it when things are free.
Sure, there will be a little more work on your part to get things going, but I think you will that in the end it will be a rewarding experience and you will learn quite a bit. When you get it working, you will get a sense of satisfaction that you won’t find when using Windows or macOS, and you will enjoy using your system much more when compared to the other operating systems.
So what are you waiting for? Why not try Linux today so you can free your system from the bonds of commercial software and truly take control of your system.
Have you given Linux a try? If so, what distribution did you use and what was your experience like? I would love to hear from you whether you had a good or bad experience. Just sound off in the comments below and we can talk more about using Linux together.
About the author
Matt is an IT professional with over fifteen years experience supporting network infrastructure and computers. An avid gamer, Matt enjoys his time playing and writing about his experiences both in the IT world and in the gaming communities. You can find more of his writing for LaptopNinja where he enjoys talking about everything tech.